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BCPs – The Disaster Recovery Plan

I came up with a short acronym for my Preparation for Disaster presentation: BCPs. It describes what I think you need to do in order to be prepared for issues with your database server. The initials stand for:

  • Backups
  • Checks
  • Practice and Preparation
  • Script and Schedule

With a utility in SQL Server going by BCP, this ought to be easy to remember. I’ll describe what I mean below by each of these:


You need to make sure that you have backups. They are insurance for the issues that will befall you at some point. They are also required for restores, which do matter.

You need a backup plan that meets the need for the particular system you are protecting. Not your entire infrastructure, but what’s appropriate for each system. Once size does not fit all here.


You can’t prevent corruption and it can occur at any time. The best you can do is detect it early, and fix it as soon as you can. Make sure you have checks in place that look for corruption.

You also want checks for things that are out of the ordinary. Make sure you have some monitoring/base-lining set up so that you can proactively be aware of what a disaster might occur.

Practice and Preparation

All of the backups, checks, etc. in the world are useless if you don’t know how to apply them. Or if you don’t have the keys, passwords, account numbers, etc. Practice the skills you need to recover your systems, and make sure that you are prepared to do so in a variety of situations.

Explaining to your CEO that you don’t have the keys for that TDE encrypted restore will make for a very, very bad day.

Script and Schedule

You must automate most of your job to be successful and efficient, and you ought to have lots of your DR insurance (backups/scripts) scheduled so that it get performed in a timely manner, and a regular manner. Humans forget things, and make mistakes constantly. You need to ensure that you are scripting your tasks (to speed up processes) and scheduling them (to ensure they occur regularly).

Filed under: Blog Tagged: disaster recovery, sql server, syndicated

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Steve Jones is the editor of SQLServerCentral.com and visits a wide variety of data related topics in his daily editorial. Steve has spent years working as a DBA and general purpose Windows administrator, primarily working with SQL Server since it was ported from Sybase in 1990. You can follow Steve on Twitter at twitter.com/way0utwest


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