Backup-to-Disk Best Practices

Backup-to-Disk Best Practices

Article: 100025225
Last Published: 2014-02-06
Ratings: 4 1
Product(s): Backup Exec


Backup-to-Disk Best Practices



Requirements for creating a backup-to-disk folder:

Backup-to-disk folder can be created in any of the following locations: 

  • NTFS partitions (local or remote) and External USB Hard Drives.
    • The backup-to-disk folder must exist on an NTFS partition for backup jobs in which the Granular Recovery Technology(GRT) option is selected. This option is available for Microsoft Exchange databases and storage groups, Microsoft Active Directory, Microsoft Hyper-V machines, VMware Virtual Machines, and Microsoft SharePoint content database and Team database.
  • Distributed File System (DFS) shares. 
  • FAT/FAT32 partitions(local or remote). 
  • Veritas Volume Manager partitions. 
  • RAID drives with any configuration. 
  • NFS volumes.
  • Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices.
    • If a NAS device is emulating a Windows operating system, contact the NAS manufacturer for assistance before creating backup-to-disk folders on the NAS device. Veritas does not certify NAS devices. If the operating system is a proprietary operating system and not a true Windows operating system, Veritas cannot properly troubleshoot the device.

Recommendations for the "Backup to Disk" feature:

Minimizing Fragmentation:

  • Avoid hosting multiple backup-to-disk folders on the same volume.
  • Minimize the number of concurrent backup operations. Allow only one operation for maximum control.
  • Maintain at least 30 percent free space, and avoid allowing the disk to become completely full.
  • Avoid hosting other applications on the same volume.
  • To prevent fragmentation a regular defragment operation should be performed on all backup-to-disk volumes.
  • Maintain 10% or less total volume fragmentation.
  • Perform a CHKDSK on the volume.


  • Do not allocate the maximum size of the backup-to-disk files when performing a GRT enabled backup.
  • All backup-to-disk locations should be excluded from antivirus/antispyware scans.
  • Destination drives that are setup with RAID 5 can show degraded performance. RAID 10 has been shown to significantly improve overall performance. In some cases, RAID 10 offers faster data reads and writes than RAID 5 because it does not need to manage parity.
  • Use high RPM drives in all backup-to-disk volumes for best performance.
  • Maximize the available memory. The amount of available memory will impact backup speed. Insufficient memory, improper page file settings, and a lack of available free hard disk space will cause excessive paging and slow performance.
  • Do not use Microsoft Windows compression or encryption on the volumes hosting the backup-to-disk folder.
  • Experiment with the options for buffered reads and buffered writes. Enabling these options may increase backup performance depending on the underlying disk structure implemented.


  • All Backup to Disk jobs should be overwrite operations.
  • Calculate disk space requirements before assigning a disk space threshold.
  • Create a separate backup-to-disk folder specifically for all GRT enabled backup jobs. Note: Backup Exec 2012 enforces one disk storage device per Windows volume, as such this will need multiple volumes
  • Erase media from the Backup Exec console do not use Windows Explorer to delete Backup Exec data, unless it has already been properly removed from the application. For more information on deleting media properly please review the related articles section.
  • The size of Backup to disk files should not be set larger than 4GB.  This is the default size for backup-to-disk files in all current Backup Exec releases.  The larger the file size the more data is exposed when that file is corrupted.
  • USB/eSATA drives are not removable media, and should not be used as such.


Note:- For more information please refer to the Administrator’s guide and/or Hardware Compatibility List(HCL) pertaining to the Backup Exec version being used.



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