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Read-only Data

By Steve Jones,

We keep gathering, storing, and managing more and more data. Many of our systems could use an archiving plan to migrate older data to another database or system where it can be accessed, but it won't impact the performance of queries against our current data. If you don't have any type of archive plan, you might consider building one for any future tables you design.

Once you migrate data to a new set of tables, typically you would consider that older data to be read only, and potentially mark it as such in it's own storage location, perhaps even adding more indexes than you have on the current data. And if the data is static, then it doesn't change from week to week, and you can reduce the amount of backups that you create from this data.

However you can't eliminate backups. There is still the possibility that you might have a disaster situation and need to recover the data. If your last backup of the read only database or file group is 18 months old, will you be able to find it? That can be quite a challenge, and I wanted to get some opinions this Friday about how to handle this situation. The poll this week is:

How often do you back up read only data?

I am also curious how you manage tracking these infrequent backups and recovering them if you must perform a restore. I'll admit that I don't have a great solution other than scheduling some regular backup interval, something like once a quarter and documenting the location someplace that would be accessible in a disaster.

Steve Jones

The Voice of the DBA Podcasts

Everyday Jones

The podcast feeds are available at sqlservercentral.mevio.com. You can also follow Steve Jones on Twitter:

Today's podcast features music by Everyday Jones. No relation, but I stumbled on to them and really like the music. Support this great duo at www.everydayjones.com. They have a great version of Message in a Bottle if you want to check it out.

I really appreciate and value feedback on the podcasts. Let us know what you like, don't like, or even send in ideas for the show. If you'd like to comment, post something here. The boss will be sure to read it.

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