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The underlying hardware components determine the maximum throughput of network backup systems. The software components determine how efficiently the available hardware is actually used. At various points of this chapter we have already discussed how network backup systems can help to better utilize the existing infrastructure:
- Performance increase by the archiving of data: deleting data that has already been archived from hard disks can accelerate the daily backup because there is less data to back up. For the same reason, file systems can be restored more quickly.
- Performance increase by hierarchical storage management (HSM): by moving file contents to the HSM server, file systems can be restored more quickly. The directory entries of files that have been moved can be restored comparatively quickly; the majority of the data, namely the file contents, do not need to be fetched back from the HSM server.
- Performance increase by the incremental-forever strategy: after the first backup, only the data that has changed since the last backup is backed up. On the backup server the metadata database is used to calculate the latest state of the data from the first backup and all subsequent incremental backups, so that no further full backups are necessary. The backup window can thus be significantly reduced.
- Performance increase by reducing tape mounts: the media manager can ensure that data that belongs together is only distributed amongst a few tapes. The number of time-consuming tape changes for the restoring of data can thus be reduced.
- Performance increase by streaming: the efficient writing of tapes requires that the data is transferred quickly enough to the tape drive. If this is not guaranteed the backup server can first temporarily store the data on a hard drive and then send the data to the tape drive in one go.
- Performance increase by backup on volume level or on block level: as standard, file systems are backed up on file level. Large file systems with several hundreds of thousands of files can sometimes be backed up more quickly if they are backed up at volume level. Laptops can be backed up more quickly if only the blocks that have changed are transmitted over the modem to the backup server.
Use the following table of contents to navigate to chapter excerpts or click here to view Network Backup in its entirety.
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