This should go without saying, but if possible please dedicate the entire host machine to running the migration and/or backup only. If you are running the Essentials software on your laptop while you are also running Outlook, web browser sessions or any other software, they will all compete for system resources thus leading to performance degradation. Whenever possible, the minimal amount of software should be running on the host.
Earlier in the Architecture section we outlined how Essentials for Office 365 sits between source and destination repositories, but that may not always be the optimal deployment. Although Essentials operates as a no server side install piece of software, there may be instances when installing it to your source or destination server or SharePoint WFE may provide a substantial performance increase. If you reference the Architecture diagram, you will notice the data flows from source through Essentials (on the host) and then ultimately to the destination, but what if Essentials was deployed on to the source or destination directly? That would minimize one entire network transfer from the operation leading to a more direct source to destination content move. As you can imagine, in some environments this can lead to very impressive performance gains and if possible, one of our more strongly recommended configurations.
Moving on past the hardware and host, we arrive at the software itself and how best to configure Essentials for Office 365 to optimize performance.
Multi-threading and parallel operations are key ingredients to an optimal performance driven migration or backup, but that comes with caveats. The more operations that are being processed in parallel (either using threads or parallel jobs) the more resources that are consumed. This means CPU cycles, large amounts of memory, disk space and network traffic, so if you want to push this area please be sure not to skimp out on the earlier hardware recommendations.