Speeding up Backups

A question we are often asked is “How can I make my backup go faster?” The simplest answer is “Don’t back up so much.” While this may sound like a sarcastic answer, really it isn’t. The less data you back up the faster the backup will go. This can be accomplished in several ways.

First, clean up the system. The less data you carry on the system the less you will have to back up. More importantly, it is less data to restore if you need to re-install. Look for files that have not been accessed in over a year, memory dumps (listf @mem.dat.telesup), test copies of production databases, old system log files (LOG####), and old network log files (NMLG####). You can also look for old Editor work files (K#######) or Quad work files (Q#######).

For those users who don’t own a copy of MPEX we have several utilities in the ESP account to help search for files that can be eliminated. BIGFILES will help identify the largest files on your system and show you their create, access, and modify dates. The latest version, which supports HFS files, can be downloaded from http://www.beechglen.com/mpe/downloads. To manage system log files we provide the program LOGPRGX.PUB.ESP. LOGPRGX purges all system log files prior to a date that you specify.

Another method for speeding up a backup is using faster tape drives, or to use several drives simultaneously. This is known as parallel backups. Tape drive speed is commonly the limiting factor in increasing the speed of a backup. With MPE/iX Release 5.5, HP changed the product structure of the TurboStore product where the parallel tape drives option is now included free of charge. A store command to simultaneously store files to ldev 7 and ldev 8 would look like this:

:file drive1;dev=7
:file drive2;dev=8
:store @.@.@; ; storeset=(*drive1),(*drive2);show;directory;progress