For some reason when running a single rsync command I am getting 1 MB/sec to 2 MB/sec even when I connecting 2 servers both connected to 1 Gbps ports.

rsync -v --progress -e ssh /backup/mysqldata/mysql-bin.000199 root@XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX:/secondary/mysqldata/mysqldata/mysql-bin.000199

I have over 800 GB of data to transfer split among 500 or so files all starting with:


I've found that running 25-30 rsync simultaneously from seperate SSH windows gets me upwards of 25 MB/sec but it will take me hours to run these all manually.

Is there anyway to get the 25 MB/sec from a single rsync command?

  • You might want to investigate setting up an rsync daemon, or using something other then SSH for a large transfer like that (RSH). Are they on your local network. Do you really need the encryption overhead? Maybe mount the filesystem using NFS? – Zoredache Oct 4 '12 at 7:51
  • What's the latency to the remote host? – Cakemox Oct 4 '12 at 7:54
  • Latency averages 24ms – reefine Oct 4 '12 at 8:24

OpenSSH is notorious for having window size limits which are not very friendly for high-latency connections. To determine the minimum window size for your desired throughput (let's ignore other overhead for now):

Window size = throughput * latency

So, if you want 25MB/sec (200,000,000 bits/sec) over a 25ms latency (0.025 seconds):

Window size = 200,000,000 * 0.025 = 5000000.0 bits

Divided by 8, that's roughly a 625KB window. Let's flip it around and look at a 64KB window (the internal cap in many versions of OpenSSH) at your latency:

throughput = 512000 bits / 0.025s latency = 20480000.0 bits/sec = ~2.5MB/sec

That's pretty close to what you're seeing (you may have some other overhead as well.)

So, I would check in the following order:

  • Ensure your OS has its TCP window sizes set sanely and autoscaling enabled.
  • Make sure you are using a version of SSH without a fixed internal window size (I believe this was fixed around OpenSSH 4.7) OR install HPN-SSH, which is patched to address these issues.
  • Try using lighter options for SSH (arcfour, for example)

SSH performance can vary drastically according to whether compression is on.

  • 1
    could you expand on this a little please ? – Iain Oct 4 '12 at 9:50
  • 1
    If compression is on CPU time is used in an attempt to save on network bandwidth. If the data is highly compressible this may be a net gain - or with more random-looking data it would be a net loss. Check whether your SSH defaults to compressing and see if you get better results with the other option. – Peter Oct 4 '12 at 16:39

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