SQL Server 2000 Administration in 15 Minutes a Week: Database Backups
June 14, 2002
Welcome to the seventh article in my series SQL Server Administration in 15 Minutes a Week. Last week we learned what T-SQL is and we also saw how the transaction logs are used to track changes in the database. This week we are going to look at how to backup our databases. The topics for this article include:
Backups are important
One of the most important tasks you will face as a DBA is performing backups. Although backups are certainly not the most interesting part of the job, they are probably the single most important. If something goes wrong it's the DBA's job to get the server back up and running as quickly as possible. Loss of productivity or, even worse, loss of data can be very expensive for a company. Let's look at the most common question I'm asked when talking about backups.
Why not just use a RAID configuration that has mirroring to provide protection? RAID is certainly the first line of prevention for data loss. Depending on the RAID configuration you use, one or even several hard drives can fail before the data is lost. Additionally, the use of hot swappable and hot standby drives can be used to allow the server to continue without ever having to be taken offline in the event a hard drive fails. The key thing to notice here is that RAID can protect you if a hard drive fails, but what happens if a fire or natural disaster occurs? What do you do if your database files become corrupted due to hardware or software errors? Or what happens if a user deletes data that they later need? A RAID configuration will not help you if any of these events occurs.
Remember, you can always replace the server, but the data on that server is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to recover.