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I'm working on a project to speed up our daily backups. I've mapped out the nodes that the data passes through from start to finish as best I can looking for bottlenecks. I am not sure if I should count the local storage on the server performing the backups as a node the data passes through though. All the data being backed up resides on a NAS connected via gigabit LAN. Does anyone know if when the remote data is being written to the tape if its first being written to the local drive array. It's NTBackup performing the backup job.

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No, the hard drive speed on the backup server is not a significant factor unless the backup software has to swap RAM.

Your data will flow like this (Ignoring internal bus, etc):

NAS Drives -> NAS NIC -> (Network) -> Backup Server NIC -> Server/Tape Interface -> Tape Drive

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