The Technical Services team for Backup and Recovery have produced a number of documents we call "Blueprints".
These Blueprints are designed to show backup and recovery challenges around specific technologies or functions and how Backup Exec solves these challenges.
Each Blueprint consists of:
What are the key elements of a backup infrastructure that have the greatest impact on Backup Exec’s performance?
Disk subsystem – For backups targeted at disk-based storage, the speed and configuration of the disk subsystem will have the greatest overall impact on performance. This is a good place to start when troubleshooting performance issues.
High-speed, multi-spindle RAID subsystems, such as those configured with RAID10, will offer significantly better performance than single-spindle or lower speed disk subsystems.
It’s important to note that performance of disk-based backups will be determined by the slowest disk system in the backup infrastructure.
CPU – CPU speed and number of cores will also have an impact on performance. All things being equal, the speed of the CPU is the most important factor.
Memory – The amount of available physical memory can also impact performance. Adding excessive amounts of physical memory to a Backup Exec server will not necessarily have a dramatic positive impact on performance; however, lack of sufficient memory can definitely degrade performance. A minimum of 8 GB of physical memory is recommended for a Backup Exec server enabled for deduplication.
Network – For backups that travel from protected servers over the network to the Backup Exec server, network speeds and configuration can impact backup performance. Fast, low-saturation networks will help prevent the network from being a backup performance bottleneck. Where possible, a high-speed and dedicated backup network is recommended.
Block and buffer settings – Block and buffer settings associated with tape and disk backup devices can have a significant impact on backup performance. While optimal settings will vary depending upon a number of factors, in general larger block and buffer sizes will yield the best performance.
SAN-based VMware backups captured using the Backup Exec Agent for VMware and Hyper-V can be greatly impacted by block and buffer settings. Please see the following tech note for additional details:
http://www.symantec.com/docs/TECH185691 (Improving VMware backup performance)
The following tech notes offer additional details and performance recommendations in regards to individual components of the backup infrastructure:
http://www.symantec.com/docs/TECH8326 (Improving disk and tape backup performance)
http://www.symantec.com/docs/HOWTO11938 (Improving Backup Exec performance)
Will backup performance improve if the Backup Exec server is configured with the Backup Exec catalogs and database on a separate RAID volume from the Deduplication Storage Folder? The general recommendation from Symantec is to place the Backup Exec catalogs and database on the same RAID volume as the Deduplication Storage Folder.
What additional resources are available on the subject of evaluating and tuning Backup Exec’s performance? The following tech notes offer various performance tuning and best practices information for Backup Exec:
http://www.symantec.com/docs/DOC5481 (Performance and tuning guide)
http://www.symantec.com/docs/TECH164267 (Disk storage device best practices)
http://www.symantec.com/docs/HOWTO74447 (CASO and data deduplication best practices)
http://www.symantec.com/docs/HOWTO74431 (Protecting SharePoint best practices)
http://www.symantec.com/docs/HOWTO74428 (Protecting Exchange best practices)
http://www.symantec.com/docs/HOWTO74446 (Deduplication best practices)
http://www.symantec.com/docs/HOWTO74450 (Catalog management best practices)
http://www.symantec.com/docs/TECH49521 (Improving Backup Exec performance)
http://www.symantec.com/docs/HOWTO23086 (Improving Backup Exec performance)
http://www.symantec.com/docs/TECH67841 (Throughput issues while performing remote backups)
http://www.symantec.com/docs/TECH8326 (Troubleshooting slow tape throughput issues)
You can download the full Blueprint from the link below.