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Tara Kizer
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FastCopy - fastest Windows copy product?

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.

Print | posted on Tuesday, March 03, 2009 3:35 PM | Filed Under [ Other SQL Server - General ]

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# re: FastCopy - fastest Windows copy product?

Am I right this tool is freeware?
Thanks, Vadym.
3/4/2009 12:28 AM | Freelance DBA
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# re: FastCopy - fastest Windows copy product?

Did you tried Windows xcopy?
3/4/2009 5:34 AM | Brian Tkatch
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# re: FastCopy - fastest Windows copy product?

Freelance DBA, yes it is freeware.

Brian, please re-read the blog, specifically the very first sentence.
3/4/2009 8:49 AM | Tara
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# re: FastCopy - fastest Windows copy product?

Sorry about that, it is straight out and i missed it.

I use xcopy instead of copy because it is considerably faster. I never really thought of it as being slow. I'll have to keep this in mind.
3/4/2009 12:47 PM | Brian Tkatch
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# re: FastCopy - fastest Windows copy product?

Interestingly enough, I was watching a webinar (Straight-to-8; migrating to SQL Server 2008) which spoke about the speed of the Windows Server 2008 network stack. They mentioned moving one file over the network something like 8x faster than under Windows Server 2003. I wonder how they're doing it; 8x seems a bit more than just basic TTL and the like. Maybe they're compressing files on-the-fly. I'm real curious if anybody here has Windows Server 2008 on two machines in a network that can test this, compressed and uncompressed both. And, naturally, compare to FastCopy.

One question, Tara: can it resume? Reading the homepage, I can't really tell. I've had to start copies more than once due to that, so anymore I use robocopy.

But hey, there are days when I'll definitely settle for 6%, resume or not.
3/4/2009 2:03 PM | Michael B
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# re: FastCopy - fastest Windows copy product?

For large number of files or large files that need moving I go to the cmd wiindow and issue a DOS copy command. I did about 50 files and it was so fast I didn't believe it actually happened. But it did. I think in less than 5 seconds!
3/4/2009 2:04 PM | Jay Nichols
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# re: FastCopy - fastest Windows copy product?

Jay, the copy/xcopy command is definitely slower than FastCopy. When speed matters, I'd definitely switch to FastCopy.

Michael, it says it can resume although I did not test it.
3/4/2009 2:09 PM | Tara
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# re: FastCopy - fastest Windows copy product?

Also try TeraCopy
3/5/2009 1:05 AM | Rad
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# re: FastCopy - fastest Windows copy product?

Is it me, or did I miss any FastCopy link in the post?
anyway here it is http://www.ipmsg.org/tools/fastcopy.html.en

I personally use TeraCopy everywhere now as it's free as well, has portable version too
supports pause/resume, CRC check, time estimate.

I especially like the built-in context menu integration and takes over the default copy/paste actions (can be disabled)
Works on 2003, XP, Vista
3/5/2009 10:29 AM | Jerry Hung
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# re: FastCopy - fastest Windows copy product?

Jerry, the link is provided in the second to last paragraph: "You can download and read more about FastCopy here."
3/5/2009 10:36 AM | Tara
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# re: FastCopy - fastest Windows copy product?

Hi Tara,

I use Robocopy. I just moved a 37gb uncompressed file in 4hrs and 2minutes, which looking at your stats is pretty slow considering that you got 4hrs and 3min for much bigger file using Windows Copy. Which leads me to believe that your network is much faster. I've compared Windows copy vs. Robocopy before in our environment and even though I have no stats for you, it's definitely faster. The file above would have taken me in upwards of 5hrs with Windows copy.

Thanks.
3/10/2009 1:38 PM | Artem Ervits
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# re: FastCopy - fastest Windows copy product?

By the way, I just downloaded FastCopy and TeraCopy. Correct me if I'm wrong but you have to install these tools to run them. With Robocopy, just copy the executable and a small batch file with CMD and run. For my servers, it's not feasible to install these apps on each of them. With Robocopy I just copy the exe file and batch, put it on root of C:, map source and destination drives and then run the batch. Check it out. Also, TeraCopy is free for home use only.
3/10/2009 1:46 PM | Artem Ervits
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# re: FastCopy - fastest Windows copy product?

Artem, FastCopy does not require an installation. FastCopy works the same way as Robocopy in that you just copy the files and run the exe.
3/11/2009 7:41 PM | Tara
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# re: FastCopy - fastest Windows copy product?

hmm, I think I grabbed a Windows installer file, I did see a zip also. Maybe that one you don't need to install. Ill try FastCopy eventually.
3/13/2009 8:14 AM | Artem
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# re: FastCopy - fastest Windows copy product?

Try using eseutil.exe which comes from Microsoft Exchange server, which is much faster than XCOPY, FastCopy and even RoboCopy.

Thanks
Dev
3/23/2009 4:25 PM | Dev
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# re: FastCopy - fastest Windows copy product?

FastCopy doesn't perform on the fly compression to improve speed. It uses bigger buffers and multiple threads to improve performance. The biggest performance differences are in local hard drive to local hard drive copies - or across fast networks (gigabit). As your network becomes slower, the differences in copying process make less and less difference. My tests indicate that fastcopy is roughly twice as quick as teracopy - it maxes out due to my hard drive speed across gigabit network.
4/5/2009 6:08 PM | Nick Wallace
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# re: FastCopy - fastest Windows copy product?

Try using Robocopy. Its comes with Win2k3 server utilities. It is by far the fastes copy utility available. It has lots of features.
4/7/2009 11:57 PM | Harihara Subramanian
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# re: FastCopy - fastest Windows copy product?

I agree with Dev. I tried various utilities but eseutil rocks. It is free with exchange server. You just need eseutil.exe and eseutil.dll in one folder and you are ready to go.

To give you an idea of the speed, here are some statistics for eseutil (we have multiple backup files but I am listing overall folder size):

Size - 865504.21 MB
Time to copy over network to standby host - 485 minutes (almost 8 hours)

Size - 82083.77 MB
Time to copy over network to standby host - 40 minutes

Size - 11958.03 MB
Time to copy over network to standby host - 6 minutes

It really has helped us bring our standby side online way way quicker than what we could do with xcopy in event of a failover and failback.

HTH
-Rajeev
4/29/2009 7:42 AM | Rajeev Lahoty
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# re: FastCopy - fastest Windows copy product?

yes i tried teracopy, its cool, when my power source goes off i can pause and continue later . its really cool and i dont use the windows copy method anymore. i will try the fast copy and robocopy, iguess i will be able to tell which is faster than whisch
5/2/2009 5:27 AM | Onuoha Charles
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# re: FastCopy - fastest Windows copy product?

thanks for it
5/4/2009 10:37 PM | Nirmal
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