If you've ever had to copy large files on a Windows platform using the Windows copy method (copy/paste in Windows Explorer or copy/xcopy commands), then you know how slow it is. Recently I had to setup database mirroring for a largish database, so I needed to copy the full backup to the mirror server. The database is about 110 GB in size, but since we use Quest's LiteSpeed product, the full backup is just 35.8 GB in size. I had heard about FastCopy, which claims to be the fastest Windows copy product, so I decided to do comparison tests.
Using the Windows copy method, the 35.8 GB file was successfully copied across the WAN in 2 hours and 15 minutes. Using FastCopy, it copied in 1 hour and 53 minutes. FastCopy was about 16% faster than the Windows copy method.
I then tried copying an 11.7 GB file in a different environment, one where file copies seem to take forever over the WAN. Using the normal Windows copy method, the 11.7 GB file copied across the WAN in 55 minutes. Using FastCopy, it copied in 51 minutes. FastCopy was only about 7% faster.
Both of the above tests were done on compressed files. Since I wasn't seeing much of a performance boost with FastCopy, I then tested with uncompressed files.
The first uncompressed file was 51.6 GB in size. That file took 4 hours and 3 minutes using Windows copy method and 3 hours and 16 minutes using FastCopy. That's a 19% improvement.
The second uncompressed file was 15.6 GB in size. That file took 2 hours and 32 minutes using Windows copy method and 2 hours and 23 minutes using FastCopy. That's a 6% improvement. By the way, I was getting about 1.85 MB per second for the transfer rate on this system, so that's why these times are so bad. On the other ones, I was getting around 4.75 MB per second.
FastCopy provides a command-line interface as well, so it can be used in batch files and scheduled jobs, such as those that refresh your development/test databases with production data.
If you don't mind the cluttered GUI and the poorly translated to English documentation, then I'd recommend this product. You can download and read more about FastCopy here.
There are other products out there that claim to be faster than the Windows copy method, such as Robocopy and TeraCopy, but I did not compare them to FastCopy. If you already performed these comparisons, please let me know.