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Backup/Syncing performance -- a few software compared

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I backup/Sync my files everyday, sometimes several times a day. Hence, speed and space has become a concern.

I did some "loose benchmarking" today. Here are some results.

"Methodology" (if there's such a thing in this experiment):

- Created a backup job which basically syncs a bunch of big files (750 MB, 470 MB, etc.) and a few smaller ones.
- I tried to configure all programs so that they perform as fast as possible, and I did include the delta copying on software offering it + caching of files on database when available.
- All Programs are copying files and folders to the same External hard drive (USB 2)

Red : slow compared to others    Bold and black : Fast compared to others.


1   Initial Run   

   Not sure why Super Flexible File Synchronizer took longer here. SyncBack is real fast in that test.   

   SyncBack   00:02:16
   SyncToy   00:03:02
   Bvckup   00:03:07
   SFFS           00:03:25

2   I then renamed all the folders to be backed up.   

   SFFS and SyncToy are able to rename folders and files, so they are incredibly fast in this test.   

   SFFS           00:00:00
   SyncToy   00:00:00
   SyncBack   00:02:25
   Bvckup   00:03:05

3   I then renamed a couple bigger files.   

   Again : SFFS and SyncToy are able to rename folders and files, so they are incredibly fast in this test.   

   SyncToy   00:00:00
   SFFS           00:00:00
   SyncBack   00:01:50
   Bvckup   00:02:11

4   Added a new 464 MB text file   to the folder

   SyncToy is the fastest, here, SFFS is pretty slow. Not sure why, again (like in test 1)   

   SyncToy    00:00:28
   SyncBack    00:00:32
   Bvckup    00:00:33
   SFFS            00:00:39

5   I then modified the content of the 464MB text file to see how Delta copying would affect performance   

   SFFS and Bvckup are clearly faster here. Must say that in most test I did, Bvckup is faster than SFFS. I tried changing some parameters in SFFS to make it faster, but it was never as fast, except in a few test. I tried to use the  "Use Cache Database For Source" but I got weird results...   

   Bvckup   00:00:13
   SFFS           00:00:13
   SyncToy   00:00:28
   SyncBack   00:00:28

6   Made modifications to the 464 MB file and then left it open and tried to copy it.   

   Bvckup is clearly the fastest in this test, like I suggested in #5.    

   Bvckup   00:00:05
   SFFS           00:00:19
   SyncBack   00:00:37
   SyncToy   Nothing was copied

Some thoughts...

As you see, they all have some problems in some situations...

- SFFS is probably the most rounded of the bunch, albeit a tad slow for some rather simple copying tasks.

- SyncToy I won't loose sleep waiting for it to include delta copying and use of VSS. But, it's pretty quick other wise... I you close all files before backup, and don't modify big files too often. And don't care about versioning etc. (which I haven't tested anyway)

- SyncBack is good, but lacks 2 very important features IMO : awareness of file/folder renaming/moving and delta copying.

- Bvckup (BETA) is probably the one with the most potential. It's generally quick, but ignores file/folder renaming/moving

I could've tested Oops!backup, But lacked space and time. Maybe next time. I'd be very surprised if it was that fast for pure syncing though as it 1) always fully backups modified files, 2) and copy the "reverse delta" portion of the file somewhere else. Oops! doesn't seem great when you work with video and music : hard drive quickly fills up if you want to keep a fair amount of versions.... I should do more testing though

IMO, if Bvckup could manage file/folder name changes, file/folder moves, etc. it might be the most interesting of the bunch. Surely, the Delta copying implementation is better than SFFS. But... Still a few things missing as it's beta.


More numbers. Full backup this time, but the second sync, when files changes reasonably piled up a bit.

1st Try.

Same time interval between both syncs (more or less 30s-1min), but not started at the same time, obviously. # Modified and copied files appear to be very similar, as you'll see
Bvckup is way faster. I really wonder why Syncback was so slow, but I know I experience this very often... And I'm a bit tired of it. (Note that it's configured to be as fast as possible.)

2010.10.15 13:35:32 completed in 9 minutes 11 seconds with 0 errors, copied 2701 MB out of 3977 MB in 105 files

Profile Start Time    2010-10-15 13:36:15    Profile End Time    2010-10-15 14:05:59 (29 minutes, 43 seconds)

Files Changed    105
Deleted    51
Copied    54
Copied/Moved    4 072 521.43 KBytes

2nd Try.  
This test is less precise, but Bvckup was still faster, with more data to transfer.


2010.10.15 19:47:42  completed in 10 minutes 13 seconds with 0 errors, copied 3282 MB out of 5133 MB in 82 files

Profile Start Time    2010-10-15 20:49:54    Profile End Time    2010-10-15 21:08:51 (18 minutes, 57 seconds)

Deleted    4
Copied    74
Copied/Moved    2 877 343.95 KBytes
Files Changed    78

Next, when I'll have the time I'll try SFFS, as Tobias generously extended my trial for some debugging.

Dude, you've got too much free time. ;D

Just kidding, Armando--very nice work indeed! Thanks for taking the time to report your findings.

You're actually right ! I was sick yesterday so was looking for something constructive (but not too intellectually demanding) to do with my "free time".  8)
Like I said, I decided to clear that question once and for... Well at least for a while. My backups aren't optimal (in terms of speed and versioning especially), and I have a laptop which I don't leave open all the time (i.e. : At night). Most of the time, they take too long, and it's annoying.
The next thing for me to decide, is how I'm going to take care of the versioning aspect.
I'm currently using AutoVer for a few folders where I really want to keep all versions.
I might replace that with Oops!Backup which I just purchased... But the big problem is that Oops takes 150MB of RAM at all time, which is a bit obscene IMO (the developer(s)/Oops team members don't seem to think so and I couldn't convince them... I guess that they're coding on an 8+gb system).

So far I don't have a compelling need for versioning, but fine by me if Bvckup adds that functionality. 8)

FWIW I've found the following Time Machine related apps in addition to what you've mentioned (ie. Oops! and AutoVer).

CascadePoint (free)

TimeTraveler ($19.95)

Wondershare Time Shuttle ($49.95) claims system restore and file recovery.

Note I'm making no endorsements/recommendations, just passing along the info in case you wanted to explore further.


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