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Feb 17

How to: Speed up CrashPlan by Reassigning Cache Folder to a Different Directory

How to: Speed up CrashPlan by Reassigning Cache Folder to a Different Directory

I’m guessing if you’ve bumped into this article is because you have deployed CrashPlan and you’re looking up for ways to speed it up. I have been a customer for several years now and I am happy with the solution from a cost/benefit perspective. One issue though is that we have our main storage server with Terabytes worth of data. What happens now is that CrashPlan out of the gate is not tuned up for handligh Terabytes worth of backup. So my first experience hitting the 2/3 Terabytes was CrashPlan simply crashing. You can read more about it here: How to: Prevent CrashPlan Pro from shutting down abruptly. Basically the Java Virtual Machine needed more RAM in order to load and display what was going on with the backup engine. The more data and complexity you add, the more memory it needs. If you haven’t tweaked your memory allowance, you should start there.

Moving on into the next tune up you can perfom. Let me picture you our scenario: As you know CrashPlan installs on the main system drive and the cache drive is stored on the Application Data folder, which coincidentally it is on the main system drive (by default). So one day I come into the office and by noon we are having several issues that can be tracked to our storage server, particulary, it’s performance. I could barely log in and finally when I start looking at the performance monitor I notice my system drive is 100% active with a huge Disk Queue Length. Baffled as nothing is stored on the system drive I sent in and found file on a \CrashPlan\Cache folder having the highes Total Bytes per second across the board.

What I learned that day is that CrashPlan is actively reading and writting to a cache store as it is performing a backup and validating if it needs to upload it or not. Our system drive although SSD was not designed to take that kind of heat. I decided it was time to figure out how to move that into our RAID drive which was designed for IO intensive operations.


Solution

As I pointed out, our solution was to move the CrashPlan’s cache store to a drive designed to handled IO intensive operations. In order to perform this feat you need to change the configuration via an XML offered by Code 42 developers (Thank you!) although it does come with a big disclaimer:

The information presented here is intended to offer information to advanced users. However, Code42 does not design or test products for the use described here. This information is presented because of user requests.

Our Customer Champions cannot assist you with unsupported processes, so you assume all risk of unintended behavior. You may want to search our support forum for information from other users.

Overview

CrashPlan stores a cache of temporary information on your computer, including information about your destinations, the data you have on your computer, and a number of settings that help CrashPlan run fast. If your cache becomes large, it is recommended you clear it to resolve the issue.

Alternatively, you can move the cache to a drive with more storage or higher IO speeds as described in this article; however, please note that this is an unsupported process.

Recommended Solution

  1. Stop the CrashPlan service
  2. Find my.service.xml
    If you used the default install location, then the file is located in the following directory:

    • Windows Vista, 7, 8, 10, Server 2008, and Server 2012: C:\ProgramData\CrashPlan\conf
      To view this hidden folder, open Windows Explorer and paste the path in the address bar. If you installed per user, see the file and folder hierarchy for file locations.
    • Windows XP: C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\CrashPlan\conf
      To view this hidden folder, open Windows Explorer and paste the path in the address bar. If you installed per user, see the file and folder hierarchy for file locations.
    • OS X: /Library/Application Support/CrashPlan/conf/
      If you installed per user, see the file and folder hierarchy for file locations.
    • Linux: /usr/local/crashplan/conf
    • Solaris/opt/sfw/crashplan/conf
  3. Open the file in a text editor as an administrator (Windows) or with an editor that has root permissions (Mac)
    See External Resources for more information
  4. Find the line enclosed by <cachePath></cachePath>
  5. Change the file path inside the <cachePath> section to the file path where you want to move the cache
    For example: D:\Programs\CacheStorage
  6. Save the changes
  7. Restart the CrashPlan service
  8. Navigate to the appropriate directory below and delete the cache folder:
    • Windows Vista, 7, 8, 10, Server 2008, and Server 2012: C:\ProgramData\CrashPlan\cache
      To view this hidden folder, open Windows Explorer and paste the path in the address bar. If you installed per user, see the file and folder hierarchy for file locations.
    • Windows XPC:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\CrashPlan\cache
      To view this hidden folder, open Windows Explorer and paste the path in the address bar. If you installed per user, see the file and folder hierarchy for file locations.
    • OS X: /Library/Caches/CrashPlan
      If you installed per user, see the file and folder hierarchy.
    • Linux: /usr/local/crashplan/cache
    • Solaris/opt/sfw/crashplan/cache

Deleting the cache does not impact the data stored in your backups or change your settings. CrashPlan will rebuild your cache in the new location.

Alternative Solution

Alternatively, if you are comfortable with creating soft links (also know as symbolic links or symlinks), you can use a soft link to redirect data from the original cache folder to an alternative location.

External Resources

Please note that the instructions linked below are provided as a reference, but they have not been tested by Code42.

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