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Four of a Kind - Backup Software Shootout


Four of a Kind - Backup Software Shootout

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Wesley Brown
Wesley Brown
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Comments posted to this topic are about the content posted at http://www.sqlservercentral.com/columnists

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I am interested to know which software does a better job offering enterprise like functionality. In particular do any of the tools offer an interface for SQL Log Shipping.


Ray Mond
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MiniSQLBackup does not offer an 'interface' for log shipping, but does implement a log shipping functionality that we hope makes the task easier. Basically, you can throw a bunch of log backups at MiniSQLBackup and let it sort out the order in which to restore the log files e.g.

RESTORE LOG pubs FROM DISK = 'F:\Backups\pubs_*log*.bak'

MiniSQLBackup will then pick up all files matching the pattern pubs_*log*.bak in the F:\Backups folder, sort them in the correct order, and restore them individually in turn. Saves a lot of time and hassle when you have a lot of transaction logs to restore.

For more information, see http://www.yohz.com/articles_04.html. The log shipping process explained there does not require linked servers to be set up, and can be used on any version of SQL Server 2000.



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Wesley Brown
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SQL Litespeed offers scripts for log shipping as well. I'll check with Idera about SQL Safe.

Wes

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Very impressed with this test. Thanks, Wes.

I am in the market for one of these products and was liking the results of MiniSQLBackup shown in your test. I am, however, confused as to why it took 500% longer to backup with MiniSQLBackup compared to the standard SQL Server backup. Isn't one of the features of this product it's ability to produce quicker backups than the standard SQL backup, in addition to compression?



Wesley Brown
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To be honest with you I'm not sure. Peter Yeoh may be able to answer that one? It may be the compression methods used.

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Steve Jones
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Part 2 coming Thursday, so keep an eye out for that. Thanks for Wes for this comparison.

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Ray Mond
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It appears that MiniSQLBackup (MSB) is spending a lot more time on the compression phase compared to writing the backups out to disk. The I/O counters are extremely low in this case.

As Wes suggested, it is due to the compression method used. MSB offers 2 distinct compression methods, where one is typically slower but compresses better compared to the other. However, there are exceptions where the reverse holds true.

This may have been one such exception, where using the 'slower' method may have been faster. The 'forced' randomness of the data may have been a factor here.

If you wait for part 2 of the shootout, you would see more comparable results. This is because the database used is a CRM database containing real-world data.



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They do but it is not very robust and i would not consider it an enterprise solution. It would also be nice if it was integrated into the gui.


Wade Smith
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Your tests need to be of much larger databases (20GIG +). That is where you get the true value of the speed and compression. We use LiteSpeed and we are seeing both a reduction in time and size by a factor of 5 for our 80 and 120 GIG databases.
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