Problems uploading / downloading large files with Fortigate firewalls

We've been working through a problem recently where largish uploads of files would reliably fail - but not in the way you'd expect. A typical course of events would be:

  • Client uploads file via SSH, SFTP or FTP
  • Upload might drop out a couple of times during the process, but resume OK - or might not have any dropouts
  • Upload finishes. Client & server confirm checksum of uploaded file - it doesn't match, so then retries the upload again
  • Repeat ad infinitum.

Our particular problem was with Storage Craft Image Manager uploading images to a remote server.

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Preventing Shadow Protect from running over a dialup VPN link

If you're using ShadowProtect and connect via VPN whilst remote back to the office then ShadowProtect may attempt to do a backup over the VPN link. Backups occur using the CIFS protocol which is very unfriendly with WAN links, and will result in extraordinarily high transfers (both upload and download).

Similarly, if you are in your regular office, and you connect to a VPN you should disable ShadowProtect, because it might end up being routed back to your own network via the VPN tunnel. This will occur if the backup target is in a different subnet than the computer Shadow Protect is running on. Not advisable at all!

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Creating a route automatically when a VPN tunnel is established in Windows 7

Note: you will need to understand subnets and routing to use this article

If you create a VPN tunnel in Windows 7 and need to have subsidiary routes created once this tunnel is created, then one way of doing this is by creating a scheduled task that fires when this connection is made. For example:

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Handling ShadowProtect and file systems with high-delta

ShadowProtect is an awesome tool, but one of it's weaknesses is that it does not allow you to specify exclusions during the backup process. So if you know that a particular directory is going to generate a lot of files that you don't need during the day, then right now you still have to back this up.

Common reaons for not wanting / needing to backup include:

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Troubleshooting Shadow Protect and Symantec Endpoint Protection Manager

If you're using Shadow Protect and Symantec Endpoint Protection Manager, then you've probably run into the issue that SEP generates several Gb per day in diffs, none of which are required for backups. Worse, it ends up costing you more in storage, and if you're trying to synchronise your backups offsite using Image Manager FTP or ShadowStream then good luck - trying to keep up with 10Gb per day of deltas just for the Antivirus component alone over imperfect ADSL just doesn't work.


So, how do you deal with this?

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