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DPTIPS: Revving up your Windows 2008 Media Agent Server

Jim Turner

This is a summary of actions taken to resolve performance issues after a Cell Manager (CM) migration I performed recently.  The legacy CM was on a 32-bit Windows 2003 system which also served as the Media Agent (MA) host for all network backups.  The new CM/MA host is a Proliant DL585 G7 with numerous CPU cores and 64 GB of RAM running Windows 2008 R2 64-bit.  It should be a beast of a machine compared to its predecessor, right?  It wasn't.  At least, at first.


Windows 2008 offers many groovy new features, but it brings along with it some baggage that can produce undesirable behavior with Data Protector.  If you use 2008 to host the MA's for network-based backups, here are the specific steps you should take.



For DP 6.2 and beyond, edit the omnirc file and add these two variables:



Details can be found in the notice titled Performance got worse after update to 6.20.  These two parameters are essential for DP 7.x as well as 6.2x.  You'll find your omnirc file located in C:\ProgramData\OmniBack\.


Power Management

Next change the power management setting from Balanced to High Performance.  You can reach this setting via Control Panel > Power Options.




The last thing you want is the system throttling down the CPU voltage and speed in the middle of a backup!


TCP Autotuning

Finally, you need to disable TCP AutoTuning and Receive Side Scaling with these easy steps.  Open an elevated command prompt with administrator rights.  Type the following commands and press Enter:


netsh interface tcp set global autotuninglevel=disabled
netsh interface tcp set global rss=disabled


Now simply reboot the host.



Making the prescribed changes to TCP autotuning, power management, and omnirc increased our test backup throughput from 13 MB/s to over 100 MB/s which is much more consistent with what we expected to see on the new host.  Your mileage will vary, of course.  But there's no mistaking in this case that we did the right thing.


Do you have some lessons learned from a Cell Manager migration?  If so, please share them in the comments!



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About the Author

Jim Turner

Jim is a multi-disciplined engineering professional with 30 years of electronic and systems experience. For the past 17 years, Jim’s primary focus has been enterprise backup, recovery, and archiving (BURA). As an HPE Master Technologist, he is recognized as a global authority on HPE Data Protector, HPE StoreOnce, and the proper integration of both. Jim's consulting has stretched over 370k miles and 151 unique locations in North America during his 9 years with HP(E). When not traveling, Jim resides in Edmond, OK with his wife and two dogs.

Jim Turner

Note also that Scott McIntosh was instrumental in the success documented in this article.  It demonstrates the value of paid support from HP which provides access to Response Center resources like Scott.

How does this affect performance of fibrechannel backups?

Jim Turner

Hello Carey,


It affects any backup that uses the LAN where 2008 is running the Media Agent.  Even if the target drives are FC, if the data is coming IN to the media server via TCP/IP, then performance can suffer without the noted modifications.


The power management setting can potentially affect backups with a 2008 media server even if source and targets are local as is the case with a split mirror backup.


Best regards,


I'm not sure this is the appropriate place to pose the question but do you know whether these recommendations still apply in a DP8.1 Windows 2012 world?

Jim Turner

Hello Graeme,


It's the perfect place to pose such a question!  And it's a good one that will likely be of interest to many.  In short, I'm not sure yet.  I'd say the power and TCP parms would probably hold with DP 8.1 on Win2012.  The two omnirc parms need to be verified.  And unfortunately, I don't have sufficient time this evening to investigate.  But I will query my learned colleagues to see if they have any input.


Best regards,


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