SQL Server Data Backup Explained

SQL Server data backup is very important when it comes to keeping an SQL database safe and secure. Many organizations today use an SQL server to store and host a database. For example, many home health agencies use third-party software that includes the ability to enter patient data into that software; all of the patient data is part of a database that is accessed by the staff of the organization. An SQL server is a database management system that can respond to queries from client machines and is formatted using a language called SQL.

Having a backup strategy, at least one standby server and more than one copy of a database are all important for database management. All SQL backups are executed with security and use an SQL Server service account.

Types of Media for SQL Server Data Backup

SQL Server 2008 allows you to create four different types of backup which include full, differential, transaction log and filegroup. A full backup captures all pages within a database that contain data. A full backup is the basis for recovering a database and must be available before you can use a differential or transaction log backup.

SQL Server data backup using transaction log backups allows every change made to a database to have an entry made to the transaction log. Each row of the log is assigned an individual number. The contents of a transaction log are in two different parts which are active and inactive. The inactive part of the transaction log has includes all the changes that have been made to the database. The active part of the log contains all the changes that have not yet been committed. A transaction log backup works the same as an incremental backup in Windows; it gathers all committed transactions in the log since the last transaction log backup.

An SQL Server data backup that uses differential backups captures all data that has been changes since the last full backup; its main goal is to reduce the number of transaction log backups that need to be restored.

Filegroup backups allow you to reduce the size of a backup and target a portion of a database to be backed up. Full backups capture all the used pages across the entire database; therefore, a full backup of a large database can use a lot of time and space. Filegroup backups can be used along with differential and transaction log backups to recover a part of the database in needed.

Great SQL Tools for SQL Server Data Backup Explained

SQL Server Management Studio is a great tool to use for SQL Server data backup. You can use that program to perform many tasks, which include setting up maintenance plans. Maintenance plans provide a method to create jobs that help administrators with common tasks such as backup, re-indexing the database and managing space for the database. You can set up maintenance plans to back up databases and transaction logs, shrink databases, re-index databases, update statistics and perform consistency checks on the database.

You may never have to deal with database corruption; however, hardware components fail, especially disk drives and drive controllers. SQL Server can detect and quarantine corrupted pages before finishing a backup, with the correct options chosen. Within SQL Server maintenance plans and other items, you can add a command or type a command that looks like this: ALTER DATABASE <dbname> SET PAGE_VERIFY CHECKSUM.

You can validate an SQL Server data backup which assures that the backups created are able to be used and are valid. When a backup is validated, SQL Server calculates a checksum for the backup and compares to the checksum store in the backup file; it also verifies that the header of the backup is correct and ensures that all pages are contained in the database and can be located.

SQL Server data backup is created on a backup device such as tape or disk file. You can append backups that are new to any existing backups or overwrite the existing backup. You can perform a backup during regular work hours since it has very little effect on processes that are being run. When a backup is being performed, SQL Server copies data from the database files to the backup devices. The transactions that are taking place while the backup is running are not ever delayed. You can schedule backups to run automatically at times you schedule.

SQL Server data backup jobs are easy to set up and help administrators perform the most important task of all when it comes to managing a database.