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High paging during backups

    Question

  • Hello all,

    I recently started receiving alters on my Windows Server 2003 machines about high paging.  Upon investigation I noted that my backup software (Acronis Backup and Restore 10) was causing the high memory use.  I did some troubleshooting and couldn't find the reason for this issue and contacted Acronis.  After many emails back and forth I finally had one of their techs do a remote session to investigate.  What he told/showed me was that Acronis is using Microsoft VSS and that is what is causing the issue.  If I run ntbackup and kick off a backup that way it does indeed consume all memory available.   I've done some research on this and can't find any reason for it yet.  At first I thought maybe Acronis was replacing the MS VSS dll with their own so I created a testing server to play around with.  With no software installed (just a base server 2003 install) initiating a backup with ntbackup created the exact same result.

    I'm not sure where to go with this.  Has anyone else experienced this issue or have any suggestions on what path I take to resolve this?

    Thanks in advance!

    Monday, March 12, 2012 12:43 PM

All replies

  • Hello Frank, if I have misunderstood the problem you've found also on the test server with ntbackup?

    Have you tried to disable VSS from Acronis (I think you could do)?

    Greetings
    Nino

    • Edited by NinoRCTN Monday, March 12, 2012 1:10 PM
    Monday, March 12, 2012 1:09 PM
  • Hi Nino,

    I did disable VSS in Acronis.  I've done some preliminary tests and so far it seems to have resolved the issue.  Problem with this approach is that if an application has a transaction open I may not get a proper backup of the file and end up with data loss.  Because of this I would like to resolve the VSS issue and use it with Acronis.

    Thanks,

    Frank

    Monday, March 12, 2012 1:16 PM
  • Problem with this approach is that if an application has a transaction open I may not get a proper backup of the file and end up with data loss

    Is correct.

    Acronis does not know well, usually work with Symantec Backup Exec.

    Were included in your backup database (eg SQL, Exchange) or File System?

    Monday, March 12, 2012 1:42 PM
  • Acronis does not know well, usually work with Symantec Backup Exec.

    Were included in your backup database (eg SQL, Exchange) or File System?


    Basically we're using Acronis for BMR.  Just backing up C drive and all data on it (mostly OS data).  Some of the servers I'm having the issue with do run SQL but the SQL install is generally on a second drive/partition. 
    Monday, March 12, 2012 1:50 PM
  • Hi Frank,

    You mentioned that running NTBackup on a clean Windows 2003 system will also cause the high memory usage issue. Then you may need to have a try to install Windows 2003 SP2 first to see if issue still exists.

    Also some hotfixes are worth to have a try to help update VSS related files. For example:

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/940349


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    Wednesday, March 14, 2012 7:29 AM
  • Hi Shaon,

    Sorry for not being clear.  My clean system is fully patched, what I meant by clean is there is no third party software installed.  The hotfixes you mentioned are covered in SP2.  Unfortunately I still have the issue.

    Wednesday, March 14, 2012 12:40 PM
  • Hi,

    Then it is strange as if the issue occurs on a system which did not have any third party software installed and fully patched, it will occur on all computers we are using.

    At current situation I would like to know the total size of memory on the server (and the test server), and how much memory it will use when running NTBackup to backup files. Also whether the issue occurs whatever file you are backing up?


    TechNet Subscriber Support in forum |If you have any feedback on our support, please contact tnmff@microsoft.com.

    Friday, March 16, 2012 6:40 AM
  • Sorry for the delay in responding.

    Test server and prod servers are all running 4GB memory.  I think I was looking at this the wrong way.  What's happening when a backup kicks off my monitoring software was alerting to high paging.  When I run a perfmon I see my pages/sec maxed to 100%.  I was attributing this to high memory use when in fact it's just VSS using the pagefile to perform backups.  So I don't actually have a memory problem.

    Is it possible to have VSS NOT use 100% of the pagefile for backups?

    Monday, March 26, 2012 5:01 PM