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ESATA Performance Issues

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January 18, 2010 8:31:33 PM

I have an ESATA dock with two drives and esata cable to a Silicon Image 3132 Dual port esata card.

I am setting up a Backup to Disk (B2D) useing Backup Exec 12.5 SP3. I have WD 2TB 7200RPM with 32MB cache.

Problem:

These should be blowing my tape library away and they are running at almost half the speed of the tape libraray read or copy.

I am geting about 1.5-2.0 GB per minute whil i should be getting between 15-20 GB per minute.

What are possible solutions?


Troubleshooting steps already taken:


Removed AV software from BU server.

Checked server usage (CPU,MEM,NET) all not used much so the limiter has to be the card or some software screw up. the drives themselves are quick.

Patched the server and BUEXEC

latest Driver for the SATA card installed.

ESATA cable is LESS than 2 meters.

Thanks in advance.
January 19, 2010 6:54:55 PM

Sounds like a driver issue to me. What Operating System are you running?
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January 19, 2010 8:02:58 PM

I am running WIndows XP on a DELL and HP PC and windows 2003 r2 32bit on an HP server. all with the same issue. I have tested two PCI esata cards and different external drive solutions all with this speed problem.

I am useing the latest drivers and as far as i can tell the latest firmware for the cards.

Thanks.
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January 19, 2010 9:37:13 PM

Ok, just to be clear I am assuming that the tape library with the data you are trying to back up is physically connected to the same computer that you are having the problems with ESATA. And where is a server coming into play?

Make sure the computer in question is connected to the internet. Leave the ESATA card in it's slot and the SATA drive NOT connected. With all the software uninstalled from the computer that you are trying to upgrade with ESATA, go to the device manager (right click "My Computer" >> hardware tab >> device manager) find the ESATA card, right click it, and select uninstall device. After Windows has finished uninstalling it, click scan computer for hardware changes then when it detects the card let windows search online for the appropriate driver either by default or right click the device and click update driver. When the card is installed plug in the ESATA device and do the same.

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January 19, 2010 9:47:29 PM

wheelieInCali said:
Ok, just to be clear I am assuming that the tape library with the data you are trying to back up is physically connected to the same computer that you are having the problems with ESATA. And where is a server coming into play?

Make sure the computer in question is connected to the internet. Leave the ESATA card in it's slot and the SATA drive NOT connected. With all the software uninstalled from the computer that you are trying to upgrade with ESATA, go to the device manager (right click "My Computer" >> hardware tab >> device manager) find the ESATA card, right click it, and select uninstall device. After Windows has finished uninstalling it, click scan computer for hardware changes then when it detects the card let windows search online for the appropriate driver either by default or right click the device and click update driver. When the card is installed plug in the ESATA device and do the same.




This was not really helpful. The tape library is SCSI but has a limit of 3GBpm while i should be able to get 18GBpm with the esata. I have already uninstalled and reinstalled the card to the latest and greatest. i have tried several devices and they all show up as Gen 1.5 not 3.0 but even so i am not reaching the gen 1.5 speeds. i have the same card installed on two workstations and a server. the server is where i need it working and hte workstation is where i am testing solutions.
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a c 415 G Storage
January 19, 2010 10:37:22 PM

ScoobyEvo said:
The tape library is SCSI but has a limit of 3GBpm while i should be able to get 18GBpm with the esata.
18GByte/minute = 300MB/sec. That is the theoretical bandwidth of SATA Version 2, but no single hard drive comes anywhere near that transfer rate. You could get a lot closer to that with the right Solid State Disk, but otherwise forget it. You can expect a hard drive to have transfer rates in the 50-100MB/sec range (that's about 3 - 6 GByte/min).
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January 19, 2010 10:50:25 PM

sminlal said:
18GByte/minute = 300MB/sec. That is the theoretical bandwidth of SATA Version 2, but no single hard drive comes anywhere near that transfer rate. You could get a lot closer to that with the right Solid State Disk, but otherwise forget it. You can expect a hard drive to have transfer rates in the 50-100MB/sec range (that's about 3 - 6 GByte/min).



i would love to have a speed between the 3-6 range but i am getting between the 1-2. These drives score pretty deicent on bench marks so i would expect to be closer to the 5gb. but at least i now know where i should be. i forgot to count that the sata drive can only read and write so fast. I still need to at least double my current performance though.

Thanks.
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a c 415 G Storage
January 20, 2010 12:44:23 AM

First of all try simply copying a single large file to the drive to see what kind of transfer rate you're getting. If it's faster than what you see with Backup Exec, then the bottleneck is probably reading the input disks to do the backup. Don't forget that Backup Exec likely has overhead to read individual files from the disk you're backing up, which means more seeking and slower overall performance.
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January 26, 2010 11:12:42 PM

sminlal said:
First of all try simply copying a single large file to the drive to see what kind of transfer rate you're getting. If it's faster than what you see with Backup Exec, then the bottleneck is probably reading the input disks to do the backup. Don't forget that Backup Exec likely has overhead to read individual files from the disk you're backing up, which means more seeking and slower overall performance.



I used a utility that measures the read write bandwith. i was geting 4.77GB/min on the write side and 5.32GB.min on the read side. so the limit is not due to the drive or the esata hardware or the server but backupexec. i also ran a test from one of my faster server for a network bandwidth test and it came back with similar numbers. On my hefty hardware backup exec appears to be hte straw while from other hardware the hardware is the straw. It seems that he best way to handle this will be to stream the back. Something Backup exec runs pretty well. 4 slow backup at once finish much quicker than 1 medium backup. Thanks for the heads up on this stuff. I am still looking for ways to speed this up.


Quick fix would be to buy all SSD and see what happens but htat is not an option.
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