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Backup Responsibility

By Steve Jones,

One of the most important things that you can do as a DBA, or really as any sort of system administrator, is back up your system.Ensuring that you have have backups, and of course, that you can restore them, is the number one priority for sysadmins. Everything else that you need to do is second to backups. After all, backups ensure you still have a system after a disaster. If you can't do that, then security, performance, features, none of that matters.

I have worked in large and small environments, and in all cases, I've assumed that as the DBA, I need to be checking that backups are occurring, and that I can restore them in case of any issues. Often this has meant I need to work more closely with others that have the actual responsibility for performing backups. This week, I'm wondering how many of you work in similar situations.

Who is responsible for backups in your company?

Is it the sysadmin of each particular application? Does the DBA ensure database backups while the Exchange administrator handles mail backups? Do you have a centralized system for backups? If backups fail, who's going to get yelled at? Or perhaps more importantly, who will notice that backups have failed?

There are any number of ways to handle backups, and honestly, the best way I've seen had a centralized person responsible for running backups every day and checking on automated tasks, but the individual system owners (DBAs, Exchange admins, application managers) checking that backups had been made. These individuals also test restores periodically. In this way there was always someone to double check the person responsible.

Let us know this week how things work in your environment.

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