What more could you add to a SQL Server backup product? It seems that many software products, including Red Gate’s SQL Backup Pro, have been able to handle the things most DBAs care about for some time: compression and encryption. Today my company has released a new version of SQL Backup, version 7, which does add a couple of very nice features.
One of the problems that exists in many database configuration is the lack of verification of the backups, and a lack of consistency checking for corruption. Both of these are fairly rare events, but when they do strike, they can propagate through backups for weeks, months, or even years at times. When a disaster does strike, this can result in a tremendous amount of lost data for an organization.
SQL Backup Pro 7 helps to ensure your backups can be verified and checked for issues with the addition of two great new features: scheduled restores and automated verification checks.
You can see a walkthrough of the features from my colleague, Grant Fritchey, on the Red Gate website. Grant shows how you can automate the restores, to another server, and run your DBCC checks.
When corruption strikes, you may not be able to actually recover data. It could be too late, so it’s important that you regularly run DBCC checks. However it can be a performance issue on your production server since DBCC is resource intensive. The solution is to offload these checks to another instance, but for many DBAs, the scripting required to ensure this runs every day is rather complicated. You can do it any number of ways (T-SQL, PowerShell, VBScript, etc), but it’s important that you do it.
The addition of this feature to Backup Pro is something myself, Brad McGehee, Grant Fritchey, and others have been requesting for some time. The ease with which you can set this up means there is no reason not to run your DBCC on almost every backup file.