Partition Image backup - terrible performance


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Steven Leiden
Steven Leiden
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I have a data partition on this laptop running Macrium Reflect V7.0.2199 Home Edition using Windows 10 Pro version 1703  build  15063.540
The differentialbackup size typically is about 15GB. The backup is performed wirelessly with802.11AC speeds from 720 Mbs to 876 Mbs. My backup task priority is set to high for all backups. These backups are done in very similar circumstances @ 10:00PMwith minor web surfing going on. There is no user activity on the destination machine. When working well typical completion time ranges from 14 to 22minutes.
The data transfer rate seen during these backups varies widely causing estimated times to go from tens of minutes to many hours. When complete, the write speeds vary from 277Mbs to 18 Mbs. The read speeds vary from 392 Mbs to 674 Mbs.  I've even seen a worse case where the write speed was 6 Mbs. This backup went for 12 hours (let it run overnight).
Does anyone have any suggestions for how to improve this?
Steve Leiden
jphughan
jphughan
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Any chance you can temporarily isolate the WiFi variable here by connecting via a wired connection during the backup window for a few trials just to see if that stabilizes backup times?  If so, there wouldn't really be anything you can do within Reflect to improve this because Reflect just uses Windows File Sharing protocol to back up to network locations. If those 720/876 Mbps WiFi speeds you're quoting are coming from the speeds you're seeing under the network adapter properties in Windows, that is in no way a real-time indicator that guarantees that you'll be able to push that much bandwidth over the airwaves for a sustained period of time.

Edited 13 August 2017 11:47 PM by jphughan
Steven Leiden
Steven Leiden
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For last evening's backup, the laptop was connected via ethernet (Gbs) through the router to the machine with the destination hard drive. This is a second hard drive on that machine, strictly for data. The statistics for the backup speeds were Read 759.6 Mb/s - Write 635 Mb/s per the log for 16GB file. The backup took 00:07:21. The previous evening's backup was still wireless. The router traffic monitor showed fairly low data transfer rate under 15Mb/s. Early yesterday, I put a technical ticket out in ASUS support for advice on how to get the router to give backups the highest priority. I'm waiting on their response. At this point it doesn't look like a Reflect problem.
The router is an ASUS RT-AC87U with beamforming technology. I recently put a mini WiFi adapter with 802.11AC (2X2) beamforming. The close connection is rock steady at 867 Mb/s.


jphughan
jphughan
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Reflect just uses regular SMB/Windows File Sharing ports if you really want to enable QoS for those, but I don't think that will do much.  The AC-87U, however, was a useful data point.  That was the one model where ASUS switched from their typical Broadcom chipsets over to Qualcomm, and that chipset introduced severe performance issues on the 5 GHz band with certain WiFi chipsets/cards. Some people are completely unaffected, but for those who have issues, they are significant; there doesn't seem to be a middle ground. Unfortunately, switching to 2.4 GHz won't necessarily be better because it trades higher throughput away for longer range by design.  The RT-AC88U and its sister the RT-AC3100 both use Broadcom again, and former AC87U owners have reported that these models resolve the issues they experienced.  The only differences between the 88U and the RT-AC3100 are that the former has 8 LAN ports rather than 4, has red accents inside its antennas and on its heatsink, and supports link aggregation for 2 of its Ethernet ports.

And again, if that 867 Mbps figure you're seeing is coming from Windows, that just reports the speed that your WiFi adapter negotiated with the router; it does not mean your system would be capable of consistently sustaining that level of throughput.

Edited 16 August 2017 10:28 PM by jphughan
Steven Leiden
Steven Leiden
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Well this certainly has made my day pointing out the issues with the RT-AC87U. It’s better to understand what I have and knowing now what is going to get tossed.
Please accept my sincere gratitude for helping me out. I hope you are willing to provide a bit more assistance. When I started to notice the performance issue, on a whim, I purchased a Linksys EA8500 Max stream router 2.6 Gbps. Are there any known issues with the Linksys? Will this fix the performance problem? Or, is the RT-AC88U in my future, it’s pretty pricy?
I understand your point about the 867mbps. I was happy with the beamforming technology in the 87U it made the connection much better than the AC66U previously in my network. Much greater range in the house when paired with Edimax AC1200 Wi-Fi USB Adapter. Overall, I tend to like the ASUS Products.

jphughan
jphughan
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I'm a big fan of ASUS products as well, which is the only reason I happened to know minutiae like this!  My dad even has a pair of RT-AC87Us at his office and they seem to work fine, but maybe he's just lucky with the WiFi chipsets in the client devices there.  I have an AC88U and while it is pricey, I couldn't be happier.  I previously had an N66U that could only get about 50 Mbps to the other side of the house and now I can get my full 300+ Mbps Internet speed there, and probably more if I bothered to test a LAN source.  Compared to the AC87U, the AC88U and RT-AC3100 add support for MU-MIMO (which was promised but not delivered on the 87U) and 1024QAM, but since neither of those features are really supported by client devices now, you're essentially just paying for futureproofing. In fact, the 87U's big upgrade was 4x4 802.11ac, but most (all?) AC clients only support 2x2 at this point anyway, although 3x3 was somewhat common with 802.11n.  But all of that means that one viable option might be to "downgrade" to the 87U's predecessor, namely the RT-AC68U (or 68R or 68P).  That model still has 3x3 802.11ac, so despite its age, it can still get the most out of basically any client on the market today, and it's very popular because it's proven to be rock solid.  At the very least it may be worth purchasing to experiment with given that you can always return it if you find it inferior to the 87U, although I suspect you'll find you get the performance you want at a much lower cost.  The only potential issue is that the 68U is designed to be stood up vertically; it can't lie flat like most other routers, which was a problem for me given where I wanted to put the router.

Sadly I'm not nearly as familiar with Linksys products, though.  The last one I owned was the stalwart WRT54G.  Then I briefly had a so-so Netgear 802.11n router before upgrading to the RT-N66U, and since then I haven't felt any need to stray from ASUS.  By the way, ASUS makes Wi-Fi adapters too in case you ever need another one or the Edimax ever has issues.

Edited 17 August 2017 4:52 PM by jphughan
Steven Leiden
Steven Leiden
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After sending my reply (that you have seen), I checked on the I-net for the chipset in the Linksys EA8500 - Qualcomm CPU and WiFi.
Not even going to try this guy.
Looking at the RT-AC88U vs AC3100. Is the 88U really 30 inches wide? In my location, the AC3100 (at 15 inches) will fit better. Would I be giving up much with the 3100?

Froggie
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I think that's CMs... PRODUCT has these dimensions:  11.8 x 7.4 x 2.38 inch (WxDxH) ~ inch


Edited 17 August 2017 7:18 PM by Froggie
Steven Leiden
Steven Leiden
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Thanks for all your help. ASUS RT-AC88U is on its way.

jphughan
jphughan
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Good luck, and report back with your results!  No, the AC88U is definitely not that wide.  The body is I think the same size as the AC87U, but you'll need about 4" more width clearance to deal with the fact that 2 antennas are on the side rather than having all 4 on the back as on the AC87U.

GO

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