There are probably a bunch of reasons why backups may bog down, but in my case it was an upgrade I did to my AntiVirus protection that messed things up.
OS: Windows Server 2003 Std SP2
Software: Symantec Backup Exec 12.5, Trend Micro Worry-Free Business Security 6.0 Standard, WaterFord MailMeter 4.0.0 (428)
One of the most important things you need to do to your Antivirus management program when you install it is to add folders, files, etc to the Exception list. Many vendors advise this for databases and certain programs which may have strange results if an AV scanner is used on them. This is especially true for Backup Exec 12.5 as I found out. My case appears to be two-fold. One thing that was happening is version 6.0 of Trend’s Antivirus started doing real-time scanning of files that were opened, modified and saved. Unfortunately, this included EVERY SINGLE ARCHIVED EMAIL that my email archive program, MailMeter, had saved in certain folders on a certain drive.
If you want to change the Exclusions for the Real-Time Scanning, you need to open the Trend dashboard, login, goto Security Settings, Click on Servers and then click on Configure (above servers). You’ll see the Exclusions section. Make sure you add the “Backup Exec AOFO Store” as well as the folders for your email archive to the list.
Note: This issue may be lessened by a newer version of MailMeter (4.3 ?) which I should be receiving an email link for in the next day or so. The new version will compact and compress the older Archives so that they aren’t just a collection of flat files.
It’s interesting to note that this change did not fix the run time of my Backups, so I did more research. I still suspected Trend of interfering, so I removed it from that server and ran a Backup-To-Disk on the offending folder. It worked 4x faster! Reinstalling it and doing more testing of the enabled features of Trend Micro’s Worry-Free Business Security revealed that “Behavior Monitoring” was causing the system to drag when I accessed those email archives. Good to know.
So I disabled Behavior Monitoring. After all, these are servers whose changes are initiated by myself only.