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3rd party backup applications

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Introduction
Recovery models
Main backup types
Backing up the database files by copying
The transaction log
Transaction log restore sequence
Log sequence numbers
Truncating and shrinking the transaction log
Backing up the tail
Inside the transaction log
So, what's in a backup file?
Test: A full backup does not contain deleted data
Verifying backup files
Verifying backup files on a budget
Cumulative backups
Recovering individual tables
Backup and restore history details
Backup reads and writes
Speeding up backups
Backup speed details
Speeding up restores
Restore state affects speed too
Backup and restore rights
Log shipping
Log shipping in SQL Server 2000
Setting up log shipping using Enterprise Manager
Checking the set up
Failover
Log shipping in SQL Server 2005
Setting up log shipping using Management Studio
Checking the set up
Log shipping status report
Failover
Log shipping in SQL Backup
Using the CopyTool utility
Failover
3rd party backup applications
VDI
VDI versions
VDI errors
SQL Backup - beyond compression
Restoring a chain of transaction log backups
Restoring to the latest possible state
Backing up multiple databases
Backup retention
Making a copy of the backup file
Backup file naming conventions
Restoring the latest backup set
Network resilience
Encryption
Integrated database verification
Database file relocation
Improved backup retention
RESTORE HELP
High-availability group support
Common SQL Backup issues
Installation checklist
Setting up rights
Configuring service rights
Backup data
Hanging issues
Common backup and restore errors
Error 3201 - when performing a backup to a network share
Full database backup file is larger than database size
Error 3205 - Too many backup devices specified for backup or restore
Error 4305 - an earlier transaction log backup is required
Bringing a database that is in recovery or read-only mode online
Using bulk-logged recovery model but transaction log backup is still large
Error 14274 - unable to delete SQL Server Agent job
Error messages when restoring from different versions of SQL Server.
Pending
vdi error codes
Restore speed details
Help, my transaction log file is huge!
Mirror or log ship



Databases are without doubt getting larger by the day.  Data will simply accumulate over time, unless you partition your data by time periods.   The effect of this is that backups get larger, and the time required to perform those backups increase proportionately.

Enter third party backup applications.  What exactly do they do?  Well, at the very core of it, they are able to compress your backup data.  Some offer the option to encrypt your data as well.  Others may offer a slick looking GUI to better manage your backups.  However, backup compression is what most users are after.  So, why are those backup applications so popular again?

·compressed backup data creates smaller backup files

·time taken to back up is also usually faster.  This is only true if the bottleneck was the write throughput.  See Speeding up backups for a more detailed explanation.

·time taken to restore is also usually faster

·encryption, where offerred, provides an additional level of security

How about the costs?  Well:

·you've have to budget for the purchase and maintenance costs of the third party tool

·CPU requirements will increase, depending on the compression algorithm used.  If your CPU on the primary server is already maxed out, using a backup tool would affect server performance even more.

Some of the products that are available on the market are SQL Backup from Red Gate Software, Litespeed from Quest, SQLSafe from Idera and HyperBac from Hyperbac Technologies.

SQL Server 2008 will offer compressed backups in the Enterprise edition.
 

Now, the most common question when faced with using a third party application is 'Is this safe?'.  I mean, you're trusting your entire organization's data to a third-party vendor.  Like, could it get any more major than that?  Wouldn't it be good to know a little about how exactly these applications are going about getting the data?  Well, that's covered in this article, and who knows, you might even be able to roll your own backup application after reading that article!




Document history
6/27/2008    Initial release.    
 
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