network & ftp backup

Custom / CUSTOM BUILD
May 4, 2009 at 14:42:30
Specs: Windows XP, enuf
My small company has created an ftp backup system for our local and remote computers. Inside our office building we are using all cat5e cabling and unmanaged gigabit switches that connect to our router that connects us to the cloud. My question is this. Our inside transfers are fairly fast over gigabit. Completing most full transfers in under an hour. Our outside clients (pc's outside of our office) are taking a while longer, sometimes as long as a full 24hrs to backup. I understand our transfer speed is not only affected by the clients ISP upload speed but ours as well. We are currently using comcast and receiving service speeds of around 12Mbps on average. We do get burst speeds faster but they throttle the bandwidth after 100 or so mb's of a given transfer. We do use an incremental backup strategy but as we add users to our backup as we startup new remote sites for our business we are wondering what we can do to improve the performance of our backups? We backup daily and currently have around 10 users. Is a new more powerful server going to help us? Or should we spend our money on more bandwidth? Most uploads from remote clients seem to hover around 48-52kbps. Most of our users are on residential cable broadband. Network and server stats below.

Network -
All cat5e or better cabling
D-link unmanaged switches
D-link DGL-4300 router

Server stats
Asus mobo
2.00Ghz
3.5 Gb's ram
2 - 1TB sata 3.0 Gbps - configured in raid 1 mirror
single gigabit NIC card - not onboard
Windows XP PRO sp3
Bullet Proof FTP software

Thanks in advance. We have gotten alot of help in the past from you guys and would love to see some idea's.


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#1
May 4, 2009 at 14:57:45
We do use an incremental backup strategy but as we add users to our backup as we startup new remote sites for our business we are wondering what we can do to improve the performance of our backups? We backup daily and currently have around 10 users. Is a new more powerful server going to help us? Or should we spend our money on more bandwidth? Most uploads from remote clients seem to hover around 48-52kbps. Most of our users are on residential cable broadband.

A newer, more powerful server won't help with this however since it's a network issue, not a server horsepower issue.

As I see it, the weak link in your setup is of course the connections of other sites and/or users. You have to know very well that residential broadband is not conducive to high bandwidth. Most (if not all) ISP's oversubscribe their segments in order to make money which cuts into bandwidth. Also, being residential, you have to fight with the movie/software/music pirates running their P-to-P software.

If it were me, when at all possible I would upgrade to business class broadband as vs the residential. Since it's more expensive, you have less of the aforementioned problems to deal with (meaning more bandwidth) and, you can normally get packages with higher upload rates. That's the issue you seem to be having. It's not that your location isn't downloading fast enough, it's that the point of origin is very limited for upload rate.

So, I would start by looking at getting packages that offer higher upload bandwidth.

You might want to also take a look at putting tape backup devices at all remote locations and then taking the tape backups offsite for safety and security (ie: in case of fire or some other disaster).



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#2
May 4, 2009 at 15:21:57
Thanks for your quick reply.

We do have a local backup strategy in place. Our ftp backup is our offsite backup and we really don't want clients taking data away from our network if we can help it. Security Issue

As for the network speed, i do agree with you. Our IT director pointed towards bandwidth but at this point we don't have any control over our end users ISP or speeds. We are however going to upgrade our speed to ensure upload bandwidth is available on our end.

Thank you for your time and help.

Any other comments?


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#3
May 4, 2009 at 15:26:01
two nics in the server connected to a managed switch that supports adapter teaming would be one suggestion.

Second would be to have the remote units backup to file and then only xfer the file.


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#4
May 4, 2009 at 16:32:17
Thanks for your reply.

Is there anyway to do "load balancing" or "adapter teaming" without the switch upgrade? I'm not sure if our current budget is going to allow us to upgrade all of our switches to these types as i have seen them get pretty expensive.

As for the transfer idea. I'm not sure what you mean... It is my understanding that we are backing up just the files, nit images of hard drives etc. Am i missing your point?

Thanks!


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