• New Patreon Tier and Early Access Content available. If you would like to support AVForums, we now have a new Patreon Tier which gives you access to selected news, reviews and articles before they are available to the public. Read more.
  • Black Friday Deals
    Visit our Black Friday page for our frequently updated, hand picked deals on TVs and other tech.

Synology USB Slow, Especially Hyper Backup

RBZ5416

Distinguished Member
I have a DS218j & really struggling with Hyper Backup through USB. I've tried a full NTFS format from Windows & EXT 4 format from the NAS. I've also disabled data compression as that seems very CPU intensive on what limited resources the 218j has. But USB transfers are desperately slow. I've just replaced a 2TB USB 2 disk with a 4TB USB 3 & it's even slower! 800GB of data is only averaging around 15MB/s in Hyper Backup. Direct USB copy in File Station is quicker but nowhere near what you'd expect from USB 3. At best it will peak around 50MB/s but often collapses to less than 100 KB/s! There are many such threads out in Google Land but none with a concrete solution that worked for all.

I really don't want to use EXT4 if it can be avoided as having a backup that I can't read in Windows if the NAS fails seems rather daft. Anyone using Hyper Backup through USB with sensible speed?

I even contemplated upgrading to the 220+ but it seems that is no solution, many of these reports are from owners of + models.
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
I doubt it's down to the disc format - it's much more likely to be a constraint of the hardware.

USB was never designed for bulk data transfer, so doing has been something of a reverse engineering exercise so performance could be compromised. Particularly with cheap hardware.

Compression is indeed CPU intensive as in all but the most trivial compression algorithm, a lot of effort had to be expended to analyses the data and then produce the compressed output. It's always been a bit of a value judgement as to whether it's "worth it" for the capacity increase versus the resources required to achieve the compression versus the risk if it goes wrong (recovering the data could be more complex if you don't know the compression algorithm used.)

I concur with your reasoning for not wanting to use ext4 for backup volumes; it is possible to lash something up to avail Windows to read ext4, but it's simpler to stick with NTFS.
 

RBZ5416

Distinguished Member
Don't know about disk format, just going by anecdotal replies to similar threads. But like most unresolved issues, there'll always be a lot of noise around the supposed answer. Seems particularly odd that the backup software transfers at a much lower rate that a straight file transfer, although it is writing to a container rather than a simple mirror. Guess I might just have to accept it for the initial backup. At least the subsequent incrementals won't take as long.

The hardware really didn't ought to be an issue though, especially as USB is the only option other than buying a second NAS to mirror to. But that's both uneconomical & no guarantee it'll be any better if it's the backup software that's pants. Might have to set up an old laptop as a backup client with the USB attached & see what happens there with Windows Backup across the network. But that throws up another issue in that you can't map to the root of a Synology NAS, so would need multiple backup sets mapped to each share. God I hate computers...
 

brunation

Well-known Member
But USB transfers are desperately slow. I've just replaced a 2TB USB 2 disk with a 4TB USB 3 & it's even slower! 800GB of data is only averaging around 15MB/s in Hyper Backup. Direct USB copy in File Station is quicker but nowhere near what you'd expect from USB 3.

Hyper Backup -> rsync -> verify transfers ... presumably.
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
...But that throws up another issue in that you can't map to the root of a Synology NAS, so would need multiple backup sets mapped to each share. God I hate computers...

Does it forbid you creating a share at the root of the volume..?
 

RBZ5416

Distinguished Member
What type of files are you backing up?

Lots of small files will be significantly slower than one big file of the same size.
A mixture & I understand that. Doesn't explain why a direct USB copy from the NAS is less than half the speed of the same transfer on a W10 laptop. Or why Hyper Backup is only managing a tenth.

W10 copy to USB 115MB/s
NAS copy to USB 44MB/s
Hyper Backup to NAS 11MB/s
 

ChuckMountain

Distinguished Member
You have got a fairly low end NAS and is going to struggle as you ask it to do more work. Straight copying on Windows is relatively low processing requirements. Doing the hyper backup requires more than just a write so requires more processing too.
 

RBZ5416

Distinguished Member
You have got a fairly low end NAS and is going to struggle as you ask it to do more work. Straight copying on Windows is relatively low processing requirements. Doing the hyper backup requires more than just a write so requires more processing too.
Monitoring the CPU & RAM, neither is struggling. As I said in the OP, exactly the same issues are reported by owners of + models.
 

ChuckMountain

Distinguished Member
Monitoring the CPU & RAM, neither is struggling. As I said in the OP, exactly the same issues are reported by owners of + models.

Are any fixes reported?

If not it may well be down to inefficient software particularly if it is trying to put a high number of iops to a spinning rust drive :(
 

RBZ5416

Distinguished Member
Are any fixes reported?
The most common suggestion is the long NTFS format, but I've proved that's nonsense.

I've just done a more valid test using exactly the same 25GB of FLAC files, but with another USB HDD. Basically the artists beginning with A from my music library. So numerous folders & small artwork files. W10 transfer remains at a solid 115MB/s.

Direct transfer from NAS to USB: 50MB/s
Hyper Backup to USB: 20MB/s

So the conclusion seems to be that the basic USB interface on the NAS is broken, only achieving half that of W10. Hyper Backup seems to exacerbate that poor performance by reducing transfer speed by a further 50%+. As far as I can see from the performance monitor, no data is being read from the USB drive during backup, so there's no data verification going on that could account for it.

What makes this even worse is that in a real world backup, which includes small PDF & Office docs, the transfer often collapses to a sustained transfer of less the 100KB/s.

I mentioned some oddities during testing so here they are:

The NAS has two USB ports but they don't seem equal. One is consistently faster than the other by around 20%.

If the NAS is booted with a USB drive attached, the transfer is faster than if the drive is hot plugged.

EXT4 is faster than NTFS, more so with write caching enabled.

Worst case scenario was NTFS hot plugged into slowest port: 32MB/s

Best case was EXT4 with write caching cold booted in the fastest port: 61MB/s, so nearly double.

But the differences are largely negated by Hyper Backup

My head hurts...
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
...But that throws up another issue in that you can't map to the root of a Synology NAS, so would need multiple backup sets mapped to each share. God I hate computers...

As far as I can tell, yes.

Meeh - I suppose one way you could bodge it is thus:

Create a single folder off the root of the volume, Share that as your "backup" share. Thence create/move all the "functional" folders (photos, movies, music, yada, yada,) under the first level folder and create shares off them them as appropriate for "normal" usage.

Hopefully thence you could create a single backup job pointed to the "backup" share, (which will grab everything underneath) but continue to use all the "functional" shares from the clients as appropriate.
 

RBZ5416

Distinguished Member
Not sure I have the will to dick around with the Synology any further. There's a multi-page thread on this subject on their official forums dating back to January last year. Not a single contribution from Synology, so obviously another corporate too big to care.

If a QNAP or similar can backup properly it will be a small price to pay compared to the hours & hours I've wasted on this. Not to mention the expense of replacing USB 2 disks with USB 3 for no gain in performance.
 

RBZ5416

Distinguished Member
Footnote on this sorry saga.

I had one last try with a drive from Synology's "compatible" list, a Seagate Backup Hub. This is a desktop drive with an inbuilt USB hub, so should have been ideal for easy access for other USB drives. It achieved an average transfer rate of just 9MB/s with Hyper Backup. So half of the already appalling performance of the WD Elements, So put the WD back, but there's a sting in the tail, overnight backup failed.

Here's another criticism "See log for details." What detail does the log give us?, "Backup Failed", that's it, no detail whatsoever.

So digging around I see that the WD has now been renamed usbshare2 from usbshare1. Must have happened when I had it & the Seagate connected. So the backup has failed because it can't see the original target usbshare1. No problem, I'll just rename the share back to usbshare1. Computer says no, that's reserved for system use.

OK, I'll edit the backup task to point to usbshare2. Computer says no, no option to change the destination.

Cue another Google session & it really isn't fixable. Well it is, as long as you're happy to SSH into the NAS as root & rename a couple of config files. So I've done that & the WD is back to usbshare1 & the backup runs, another couple of hours wasted.

So it seems to moral with USB drives is don't accept the default share name, create your own. Hopefully that will stop the NAS renaming drives/shares on a whim.
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
Here's another criticism "See log for details." What detail does the log give us?, "Backup Failed", that's it, no detail whatsoever.

I feel your pain: I used to pick up support tickets to investigate and there would be an error message (hurrah, my user thought to tell me something useful,) look it up in the error messages manual (when we still had such things) and the would say "Error 1234, contact your systems programmer." Me: "But I am the systems programmer, so how's that any help." It might as well have said "something wonderful has happened."

The more modern take on that is one decides to consult the "help" and find it's no help at all. Or the online support and get lost going round a "loop" of web pages that all refer each other. (Are you listening Hewlett Packard.)

Thank heavens for Google and the various "self help" groups that inevitably form.
 

The latest video from AVForums

Guardians of the Galaxy Xmas Special, Strange World, Bones and All, and Cabinet of Dr Caligari in 4K
Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Full fat HDMI teeshirts

Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom