Slow backup jobs

There are many possible reasons why a backup job might be slow.

Recent changes 

Did the issue suddenly start happening, on a certain time?

  • New software
    • Any recently-installed software might change the performance profile of the customer's PC.
    • On Windows, check in "Programs And Features" and sort by Date to see any recently-installed software
    • Does the issue coincide with a Magnus Box software update?

Customer PC performance 

Are multiple customers experiencing the issue, or just a single customer? This helps determine whether the issue is related to your general/server-side infrastructure or whether the issue is related to the customer's environment.

  • Antivirus
    • Many antivirus programs will scan each file as Magnus Box reads them, including but not limited to ESET NOD32 and Windows Defender.
    • Does it help to exclude Magnus Box's backup-tool.exe program in the antivirus software?
      • Magnus Box 19.3.13 and later automatically does this for Windows Defender.
    • Does the antivirus process show as having high usage in Task Manager when the backup is running?
  • Use of slow settings
    • Ensure the "Limit backup to use only 1 disk thread" option is not enabled
    • Ensure the "speed limit" option is not enabled
    • Ensure the "Prefer temporary files instead of RAM (slower)" option is not enabled
    • Toggle the "Rescan unchanged files" option, to see if it increases- or decreases- performance
  • RAM usage
    • With large (multi-TB) Storage Vaults, there are many different data chunks that could be deduplicated against. Magnus Box will start to use a few GB of RAM to hold all the indexes for deduplication. If the local PC is low on RAM, it may use the swapfile / pagefile, that can significantly reduce performance.
  • CPU usage
    • Magnus Box compresses and encrypts all data before upload. On weak CPUs this may cause high CPU usage. The CPU usage may become a bottleneck.

Storage performance 

Check what kind of disks the customer is backing up.

Check what kind of storage the customer is using.

Check where the temporary directory is for the backup service user account.

  • Avoid backing up files from a network share
    • If you are backing up files from a network location, Magnus Box must make many network roundtrips to access the data. It may be substantially faster to install Magnus Box on the network device instead.
  • Backup storage on the same volume as the backup source
    • Using a mechanical hard drive for multiple tasks simultaneously may reduce its performance from the sequential-level down to the random-level, even for sequential tasks.
  • Backup source is a single-queue block device
    • Magnus Box issues many requests to the source disk in parallel. To avoid negatively affecting other programs on the PC, Magnus Box tries to access the source disk at a low OS priority, but this may be ineffectual if your disk only supports a single queue. You can toggle the "Limit backup to use only 1 disk thread" option to force Magnus Box to make only a disk request to the source disk at a time. This may have a positive effect on other programs on the PC, at the expense of backup job performance.
  • Use of external hard drives
    • Is it USB 2 or USB 3?
    • Some disk drives may experience slow performance. You can use a benchmarking tool to determine the expected performance of the USB drive both in sequential reads, and in small random reads) independently of Magnus Box, as a baseline to compare against Magnus Box's performance.
      • At the time of writing, CrystalDiskMark is a popular freeware software for measuring disk performance on Windows.
    • Performance Mode
      • There is an option in Windows to control whether USB drives are configured for "Quick removal" (default) or "Better performance". Switching to the latter mode can significantly improve performance, but requires you to safely eject the drive. To change this setting:
        1. Open Device Manager > Disk drives > Properties > Policies tab
        2. If the "Quick removal" / "Better performance" radio option is available, ensure it is set to "Better performance"
        3. If the "Enable write caching" checkbox option is available, ensure that it is enabled
  • Backing up direct to cloud storage
    • Check the customer's internet connection
    • Check the service provider's status page, to ensure they are not currently experiencing any errors
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