Simplified Backup and Restore Strategy In SQL Server

Andrew Jackson | July 9th, 2015 | SQL Backup & Restore |

Backing up your data for restoring at the time of need is the thought of every user working with SQL. However, this thought and your backup can only be useful if the strategy applied to back up your data is right. The data backup and restoration of the SQL DB should be adapted to a specific environment. This entire strategy is executed so that we can get the best-managed backup, which will decrease the chances of data loss and increase the chance of data availability. The strategy of backing up and restoring SQL data should be like this that it should properly manage with the available resources offering maximum data management and availability. The backup and restore strategy in SQL Server is being divided into two portions that are:

  • Backup Portion
  • Restore Portion

Backup Part

The backup portion is one of the very important part of backup and restore strategy in SQL Server, which defines following criteria:

  • Frequency of Backup
  • Type of Backup
  • Speed and type of hardware required for storage
  • Place to store backup media
  • Test of Backup

Restore Part

The restore part of the SQL backup and restoration strategies plays an important role in defining the various criterions:

  • Who will perform the restore?
  • How will the restore be performed?

Both the parts defined in the section above will directly affect the availability and loss of SQL data.

The designing process of backup and restore strategies should be performed very carefully and involve three basic steps as follows:

  • Planning
  • Implementation
  • Testing

In addition, one thing is important to remember that before going towards to make a restore strategy in SQL Server, we should have the right backup. Therefore, the focus should be on backup part before going for restore part of the strategy. Some factors that must always be taken care of before proceeding towards the strategy are:

Check the Resource Available:
Watch out for the hardware available to store the backup media of the SQL data.
Properties of Your Database:
Always explore the properties of your database, i.e. its size, need of the data, along with the nature or type of database content.
Organization Status:
In this part, focus on the production of your organization, the prevention of data loss is an important factor to look after.

How Recovery Models Effect Upon Backup & Restore Operation?

The recovery models in SQL look after as to how the transaction logs will be managed and what backup and restore options will be used with the database.

The SQL Server backup and recovery strategies are as follow:

Full Recovery Model:
In this model, the data is backed up until the Transaction log backup of the database is taken.
Bulk-Logged Recovery Model:
This model works in similar manner but the only difference is that it minimally logs the bulk-edited data, i.e. the data on which operations (INSERT, UPDATE etc.) have been performed in bulk.
Simple Recovery Model:
This recovery model will log only some amount of database information.

Mostly, full recovery and simple recovery models are used with the SQL database. The choice of Recovery model depends on your business or organization’s requirements.

Backup Strategy Planning

After choosing the recovery model, the user will now move towards the designing and implementation of the backup strategy. Now we will discuss some important factors to design the backup strategy:

  • Check all the factors we have discussed in the backup part section.
  • Estimate the Size of Full Database Backup: sp_spaceused stored procedure can be used to see the size of database to look after the amount of disk space required.
  • Backup Scheduling: After deciding the frequency of backup, the backup operation should be scheduled at intervals in database administration.
  • Backup Testing: This section is important before proceeding towards the restore part, testing the backup maintained is important and should be done using a test system, alternatively.

Conclusion:

All the discussed factors should always be taken care of before every backup and restore strategy is planned. This will help support maximum data availability and less data loss probability. An appropriate selection of recovery models helps to recover fix amount of data which saves the memory space for the user and helps to make a better backup and restore strategy in SQL Server.

Transaction Log Restore