Backup and restore

Prashanth Jayaram

Discussing Backup and Restore Automation using SQLCMD and SQL Server agent

May 3, 2018 by

Database administrators are often requested to refresh a database, mostly to create a live copy of the production database to the test or development environment. This is done so that the development or the test environment closely resembles the production environment; this way, we prevent many undesirable issues when running the application in the production environment.

Many developers, at times, are required to write and debug code on the production copy of the database, so it makes more sense to refresh the database on regular basis.

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Prashanth Jayaram

Backup and Restore (or Recovery) strategies for SQL Server database

April 26, 2018 by

One of the most important roles of a database administrator is to constantly protect the integrity of the databases and maintain the ability to recover quickly in case of a failure. In light of this, it’s critically important to have a backup-and-recovery strategy in place in order to be ready for an emergency.

A key responsibility of a database administrator is to ensure that a database is available whenever it’s needed, and prepare for various scenarios wherein the availability or the performance is impacted. Therefore, if a database, for whatever reason, gets corrupted, gets dropped, gets accidentally deleted, or goes into an unusable state, it is a database administrator’s responsibility to bring the database back up in a working state with little to no loss as per the defined service level agreements or government policies.

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Prashanth Jayaram

Understanding SQL Server Backup Types

April 19, 2018 by

SQL Server backups, in itself, is a vast subject; so vast, there are multiple books written about them. In this article, however, we are going to focus on the types of backups that are available to us, and understand how to pick what we need, and what aspects we base that decision on. This understanding would, in turn, help us decide our backup-and-restore strategy.

Following are the most common types of backups available in SQL Server:

  1. Full
  2. Differential
  3. Transaction log
  4. Tail Log backup
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Istvan Martinka

How to connect and perform a SQL Server database restore from Azure BLOB storage

April 18, 2018 by

Having things in the cloud should make life simpler but I have experienced it’s not that straightforward. Once all access / configuration is sorted out then yes, of course! But in the meantime it can be tedious (even frustrating) and the end result is something that could have been achieved with a different method.

I think a significant chunk of what Azure offers is easier to do with the more conventional methods but that separates us from the advanced Azure features that a company would like to utilize in the shorter / longer term future. So there are reasons to spend some time / effort in getting things right up there.

In my case the task I needed to accomplish sounded simple enough:

  • get a SQL Server database backup (.bak file) from Azure blob storage
  • copy it to our own environment and restore it to a SQL Server instance on an Azure Windows VM
  • or skip the copy step and restore straight from blob storage
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Prashanth Jayaram

Understanding SQL Server database recovery models

April 10, 2018 by

A recovery model is a database configuration option that determines the type of backup that one could perform, and provides the ability to restore the data or recover it from a failure.

The recovery model decides how the transaction log of a database should be maintained and protects the data changes in a specific sequence, which may later be used for a database restore operation.

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Prashanth Jayaram

Understanding the SQL Server Data Management Life Cycle

March 21, 2018 by

This is the second article in the “Backup and Restore (or Recovery) in SQL Server” stairway series (see the full TOC below). This article deals with the different phases of data management life cycle and it encompasses the following topics:

  1. Introduction to data corruption
  2. Defining data corruption and its causes
  3. Discussion on the impact of data corruption
  4. Explaining data prevention mechanisms
  5. Data protection
  6. And more…
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Prashanth Jayaram

An overview of the process of SQL Server backup-and-restore

March 1, 2018 by

In a manner of speaking, planning and implementing a SQL Server backup design is an art. Backup, Restoration, Recovery, Business Continuity Plans (BCP), and Disaster Recovery (DR) are different phases of data revolving around the discussions involving data backup. In other words, it’s about how we ensure to retain the business data through any sort of situation that’s thrown at us.

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Timothy Smith

How to archive SQL Server data with scale in mind

February 21, 2018 by

We manage data in a growing environment where our clients query some of our data, and on occasion will query past data. We do not have an environment that scales and we know that we need to archive some of our data in a way that allows clients to access it, but also doesn’t interfere with current data clients are more interested in querying. With the current data in our environment and new data sets will be using in the future, what are some ways we can archive and scale our environment?

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Robert Seles

Ola Hallengren’s SQL Server Maintenance Solution – Installation and SQL Server Backup solution

December 5, 2017 by

Database administrators tend to use various scripts or applications, to make the daily SQL Server database maintenance task easier.

Some more experienced administrators prefer to design and use their own scripts for these tasks. The scripts are usually designed to fit the requirements imposed by the specific environment. After the scripts are thoroughly tested, they often get included in a maintenance plan, or SQL Server agent job to automate their execution. Such solution is usually optimal for some demanding environments like high traffic servers or databases that are still in development. Designing these solutions usually take time, and require an experienced DBA skilled in T-SQL or PowerShell scripting.

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Jefferson Elias

How to choose and check the right Database Recovery Model in accordance to your backup strategy

October 11, 2017 by

Introduction

Following best practices, we should apply principles like segregation of duties. This implies the segregation of application environments. In particular, we might see for a given application that it incorporates at least two environments: a production environment and a non-production environment that exists for testing, Q/A, training, etc

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Prashanth Jayaram

Planning a SQL Server Backup and Restore strategy in a multi-server environment using PowerShell and T-SQL

August 15, 2017 by

Introduction

Database availability is critical to every enterprise and conversely, unavailability directly can create a severe negative impact to the business in today’s world. As database administrators, it is important that we ensure we take all possible steps to minimize data loss. While it is naïve to think that our databases are invincible because of all such precautions, we can always aim to bring the databases back into operation as quickly as possible by meeting the RPO and RTO. This way, the business is unaffected, and we also meet our SLAs.

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Ahmad Yaseen

Compression and decompression functions in SQL Server 2016

June 2, 2017 by

The concept of data compression is not a new on for SQL Server Database Administrators , as it is was introduced the first time in SQL Server 2008. In that SQL Server version, you were able to configure the compression at the row and page levels on the table, index, indexed view or the partition. The row and page level compression is not the best choice in all cases, as it does not work well on the Binary Large Objects (BLOB) datatypes, such as the videos, images and text documents.

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Sifiso W. Ndlovu

Two methods for restoring a data warehouse/data mart environment

November 8, 2016 by

Implementing best data warehouse designs and practices such as data lineage reduces the need to ever have to restore an entire relational data warehouse. However, sometimes there are instances whereby you have inherited poorly designed data warehouse environments that leaves you with no other options but to perform an entire database restore in an event of a sudden disaster. I recently found myself in a similar situation of having to recover one of my data mart following a data integrity issue wherein all data of a type 1 dimension was updated/overwritten using an incorrect source file. In this article I take a look at how different approaches can be utilised to restore the compromised SQL Server-based data mart back to its “good state”.

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Aamir Syed

SQL backup reports with PowerShell

August 15, 2016 by

Let me preface this post by saying that this was a process that evolved over time. It started as a simple sql statement that emailed me a csv file. From there the actual SQL code evolved to display cleaner results. When I learned what powershell could do, I spent some time learning it during my lunch breaks at work. Even when I implemented a powershell script for the first time, it still wasn’t a clean looking report, but it was still better than what we had prior. Even now there is room for improvement but I am happy with the results and hope that it can provide some help to other SQL DBA’s out there.

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Sifiso W. Ndlovu

Meaning of the 5127 database snapshot error code

April 15, 2016 by

Long before I turned to Data Warehousing and OLTP replica environments such as Operational Data Stores as a form of data redundancy strategies, I had been using database snapshots. During that time, the analytics and reporting teams were directed towards a database snapshot as a data source for their development. Another benefit of having a database snapshot, is the ease of knowing that should unintended changes be committed in source, you could easily revert the operation by restoring source database off the snapshot.

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Shawn Melton

Analyzing SQL Server backups

March 8, 2016 by

Introduction

Database backups are important and always something you should have in any environment. Outside of needing them to restore a given database they have some information that can be useful in certain situations. One situation I found them convenient is with consolidation projects. If the databases are online you can obviously go to the source SQL Server instance to gather that information, but as a consultant I don’t necessarily have access to every environment. You may have the same issue if you are being brought into a project and your customer or department manager just wants you to advise on how you would setup the server. One easy request is to have them point you where the backups are stored and ensure you have access to the files.

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Kaloyan Kosev

MS SQL Server backup optimization

January 19, 2016 by

Backup and recovery are some of the most important DBA tasks, although they look simple enough and usually you setup them, leave them running on schedule and only come back if they fail – there is a whole new world in regards to optimization you can do to make them faster, better and … smaller.

But why bother? Considering that the modern databases grow at such fast pace you may face a situation where you are not able to fit in your maintenance windows or service contract obligations. Let us take a look on the three main areas where we can work on:

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Ahmad Yaseen

Backup SQL Server database to and restoring from multiple files

January 6, 2016 by

Introduction:

The SQL Server backup provides an important solution for protecting critical data that is stored in SQL databases. And in order to minimize the risk of data loss, you need to make sure that you back up your databases regularly taking into consideration the changes applied to your data. It is a best practice to test your backups by restoring random backup files to a test environment and check that the backup files are not corrupted.

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