How configure Macrium to backup faster utilizing full speed hardware and NVME drives?


How configure Macrium to backup faster utilizing full speed hardware...
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I like Macrium, really do. It's so good at everything but speed. No matter what hardware I throw at it, it never takes full advantage of all the great speed to achieve fastest backups. On average, it writes about 250 MB/sec, even though max possible speed of target disk is 550 MB/sec. Windows Explorer file copy writes at full speed. Frustrating that Macrium can't do the same.  Typical backups, Normal Compression, No Password, Verify File System and Verify Backup, otherwise, all default settings.

System:
Intel NUC 11 TNH i7-1185G7 CPU
C Drive is 2TB NVME PCIe Gen 4 SSD (Crystal Disk Mark Read 7,700 MB/sec, Write 6,800 MB/sec)
Backup Target Drive is 4TB SATA SSD  (Crystal Disk Mark Read 560 MB/sec, Write 550 MB/sec)
Windows Server 2022 with Hyper-V

Thoughts?

jphughan
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What happens with no compression?
Danskeman
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Well, it does have to compress the files, using smart sector etc.

Not only that C drive has literally hundreds thousands of files

Even Windows Explorer could not copy those at anything like speeds you are saying.

I do not think you are comparing on same basis.  You would only get full speed in Windows copying a few large files rather than lots of small files. 



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Danskeman - 7 April 2022 5:34 PM
Well, it does have to compress the files, using smart sector etc.

Not only that C drive has literally hundreds thousands of files

Even Windows Explorer could not copy those at anything like speeds you are saying.

I do not think you are comparing on same basis.  You would only get full speed in Windows copying a few large files rather than lots of small files. 



Backing up very large files exceeding hundreds of gigabytes is not any faster.
Drac144
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Since this is an image backup, we are not concerned with files - just clusters/sectors.  Compression could slow things down, of course, but 50% seems excessive.  However comparing the read/write speed of different software is not always useful.  Different software may be doing other operations (like compression, as suggested) which can slow the transfer rate.  It also depends on your processor and motherboard.    

Also, the write speed of the output drive may not be the SUSTAINED write speed.  Typically with large transfers, the ability of the destination drive to buffer the incoming data slows after the buffer is full.  So while a burst speed may be higher, once the amount of data arriving exceeds the ability of the drive to store it temporarily while the slower saving takes place, the throughput will drop. 

After 8 major releases of Reflect, I have confidence that Macrium has tuned the backup speed to the best it can be while still providing all the protection needed to insure data is reliably and accurately saved to the backup file(s).

jphughan
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Danskeman - 7 April 2022 5:34 PM
Well, it does have to compress the files, using smart sector etc.

Not only that C drive has literally hundreds thousands of files

Even Windows Explorer could not copy those at anything like speeds you are saying.

I do not think you are comparing on same basis.  You would only get full speed in Windows copying a few large files rather than lots of small files. 



When you're making an image backup, the quantity of files doesn't matter because image backups operate a data block level and therefore aren't subject to per-file overhead.  I know this from personal experience backing up the Data partition of an office file server with 500,000 files.  An F&F backup takes about 2.5x longer than an image backup.  So I don't think the OP is off base here.  I would argue that comparing imaging speeds to file copy speeds for one or a small number of very large files isn't a completely unreasonable comparison, especially when the observed discrepancy is this significant.

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Drac144 - 7 April 2022 6:52 PM
Since this is an image backup, we are not concerned with files - just clusters/sectors.  Compression could slow things down, of course, but 50% seems excessive.  However comparing the read/write speed of different software is not always useful.  Different software may be doing other operations (like compression, as suggested) which can slow the transfer rate.  It also depends on your processor and motherboard.    

Also, the write speed of the output drive may not be the SUSTAINED write speed.  Typically with large transfers, the ability of the destination drive to buffer the incoming data slows after the buffer is full.  So while a burst speed may be higher, once the amount of data arriving exceeds the ability of the drive to store it temporarily while the slower saving takes place, the throughput will drop. 

After 8 major releases of Reflect, I have confidence that Macrium has tuned the backup speed to the best it can be while still providing all the protection needed to insure data is reliably and accurately saved to the backup file(s).

Drac makes a good point that I forgot to make earlier but have made elsewhere on the forum.  If you're writing to an SSD, write speeds can be fast for relatively short duration writes but can drop under sustained load due to saturating the fast SLC buffer, in which case the SSD must resort to writing directly to its slower "bulk" flash memory.  Thermal throttling can also become a factor, especially in systems where the SSDs don't have heat sinks or thermal pads attached to them and might not even have very good ventilation within the system chassis.  So if you're looking at write speeds based on a couple of file copy operations, short duration benchmarks, or just vendor advertised specs, then those won't necessarily give you a realistic expectation of what to expect during an image backup operation that involves sustained writes and therefore won't allow the SSD to clear its SLC buffer or cool down (as long as the source read speed is greater than this SSD's write speed, of course).

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Drac144 - 7 April 2022 6:52 PM


After 8 major releases of Reflect, I have confidence that Macrium has tuned the backup speed to the best it can be while still providing all the protection needed to insure data is reliably and accurately saved to the backup file(s).

Hmm - not entirely so convinced.  I have been testing latest versions of AOMEI and EASEUS tools, both quality tools albeit less flexible than Reflect, and they both run about 50% faster than Reflect i.e. they only use 2/3rds of the time. 

Of course, I cannot fault Reflect's accuracy as it has never let me down, and I would prefer being a bit slower backing up.

Of course, neither of them have Reflect's Rapid Delta Restore.

I have ever only heard of one other package that does similar - Casper https://www.fssdev.com/products/casperste/productmatrix.aspx



Drac144
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I can only offer points to ponder.  Not having source code for Reflect, I don't know the details of its workings and what might be causing it to be slower than other backup software.  Maybe one of the Macrium crew will tell us what benefits we are getting from that slower transfer speed (more reliability, I suspect).  I have enough faith in and respect for Macrium to believe that they are backing up as fast as possible while still ensuring a reliable backup (or at least as good as possible when depending on computer hardware). 
Philip Campbell
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I came across this topic and was surprised to hear that Macrium was slower than Easeus.  I use both to do full system images of my Dell desktop and laptop, alternating weekly, same settings as those used by the OP.  I have two lifetime licences for  Easeus Todo Backup Home and I purchased a four-licence pack for Macrium Reflect Home, Version 8.  I have been using Macrium since Version 5 or 6, I think.

On my computers, Macrium is at least twice as fast as Easeus when creating image backups. For example my Delll XPS 8930 SE where the source disk is an NVMe SSD backing up to Samsung SATA SSD, doing image backups of all of the partitions on the NVMe source drive (six of them, including about 160 GB of programs and data on the C: drive, plus Windows 11 Pro), I am averaging write speeds of about 2.1 Gbs.  Macrium images and verifies in under 15 minutes.

To answer the obvious question, I use Easeus just to keep up with any changes.  Most of my clients are seniors and a bit intimidated by the wealth of information and options in Macrium, so I usually recommend Easeus to them.  For myself alone, I would only use Macrium because of its full feature suite and faster imaging times.

This is just my experience.  Have a great day.

Regards,
Phil

Former Bleeping Computer Malware Response Instructor

Edited 11 April 2022 6:11 PM by Philip Campbell
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