Tuesday, April 16, 2024

DominoBackupRunFaster=1 Turbo Boost !

Recently, Daniel Nashed introduced us to a new setting in Domino (FILE_COPY_BUFFER_SIZE) that can significantly enhance Domino backup performance. You can read more about it in his blog post

We love doing storage optimization, so we wanted to find out how file system fragmentation and this setting worked together, so we conducted several rounds of testing to evaluate its impact (if any). 

The tests were performed on a physical server running Windows 2019, with locally attached storage formatted as NTFS.

I will avoid boring you with hours of testing, flushing caches, and rebooting servers and just provide a summary of our findings:

1. On a server with low levels of file system fragmentation (i.e., maintained by the Database Optimizer), there is very little difference in transfer rates when comparing the default and large buffer sizes. In both cases, the transfer rates are very fast.

2. Fragmented file storage did affect the backup transfer rates.

3. On a server with moderate levels of fragmentation, using the larger buffer size (1MB) provided us with about a 67% increase in transfer rates.

4. On a server with moderate levels of fragmentation, which was then defragmented, the increase in transfer rates is about 300%.

Here are two screen shots show a before and after:

Before: Fragmented database backup with modified notes.ini setting (FILE_COPY_BUFFER_SIZE=1048576)

After: Contiguous database backup with modified notes.ini setting (FILE_COPY_BUFFER_SIZE=1048576)

So, what does this mean in the real world?

If possible, keep your storage tidy and unfragmented because, in the end, the golden rule remains: less I/O equals better outcomes. The savings can be dramatic. Maybe give the Optimizer a go!

If you can't be bothered with any of that, then our testing shows that you are highly likely to benefit from running a large buffer size. It's magic, just like free coffee.

Happy backing up!

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