Why is copying features so slow compared to simply copying the file geodatabase?

08-05-2016 04:27 AM
Occasional Contributor

I would like to copy features from a file geodatabase stored on a local volume to a file geodatabase on a networked share. If I copy the file geodatabase it transfers at around 12MB/s (on a 100baseT ethernet network). If I try to copy the feature layer from within ArcMap (10.2) it transfers at around 1KB/s. This is 12,000 times slower! Why is this and is there any way to speed it up, or should I resort to copying the entire geodatabase which is much faster?

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7 Replies
Esri Frequent Contributor

HI Chris,

You may want to move this to a more appropriate location on GeoNet, like Geodatabase​, to get more visibility.

--- George T.
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MVP Esteemed Contributor

Over the years there has been a long list of issues with, and complaints about, the performance and stability of file geodatabases on network shares.  A Google or similar search will dredge up that history.

Even given the history, your situation does seem worse than expected.  There are quite a few factors at play, and there really isn't enough information to begin speculating.  A few thoughts:

  • Are you accessing the FGDB via UNC path or mapped drive letter?
    • If the former, have you tried the latter and vice versa?
  • What is hosting the backend network share?
    • If Windows Server, what version?
    • If Linux, what versions of OS and SMB/CIFS?
  • What if you try a personal geodatabase or shape file?
Occasional Contributor

Hi Joshua

Thank you for the pointers.

In answer to your questions:-

  • UNC Path
  • I am not privy to that, it is outsourced to another company
  • I will try today but in the past I have had fewer complaints using File GDB than Personal GDB.
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Esri Contributor

Feature layer in ArcMAP has more info to consider  boundary extend, symbology etc in the copy process. If you do not want specific feature to copy, then better method is to  use Arccatalog and copy file geodatabase/feature dataset/feature class.

Just curious to know, why you need to copy feature layer one at a time from ArcMAP.



Occasional Contributor

Thanks for the information.

Working with a GDB over the network is slow, so I want to transfer the specific layers I want to use to a local GDB, and then copy them back when I am finished working.

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Occasional Contributor III

Use " Compact Database ", it will reducing your geodatabase size. so the transfer time will be short.

You can find Compact Database in Arc catalog . just right click on geodatabase then choose Administration then Compact Databaste.

Occasional Contributor

Thank Abdullah, I will try this and see if it makes a difference.

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