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How Often Do You Backup Your Transaction Logs?

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Whenever I speak about database maintenance, I always recommend that DBAs backup up their production database transaction logs at least once an hour. As is with most things DBA-related, there is no exact answer that will meet every SQL Server environment’s needs. The interval between transaction log backups depend on many factors, including, but not limited, to how much data the organization is willing to loose, how active the database is, and so on.

When I set up database maintenance plans myself, I generally backup at 15 minute intervals, although sometimes I deviate from this, depending on a variety of different factors.

In my most recent poll, I asked DBAs how often they backup their transaction logs, and the results are shown at the left.

It is interesting to see the various choices made by the various DBAs who completed the poll.  Based on my recommendation of backing up transaction logs at least once an hour, (if you add up the results), nearly 77% follow this recommendation, which I think is great.

A few other DBAs choose different transaction log periods. Just over 2% of the DBAs said they never back up their transaction log. I hope this is because their databases use the Simple Recovery Model, and not because they don’t know what they are doing.

A surprising 6% or so said that they don’t even know what a transaction log backup is. Hopefully, after seeing this post, they will do some research and find out why transaction log backups are so important.

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