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Offsite Backups


Offsite Backups

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Orlando Colamatteo
Orlando Colamatteo
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I have a client with a mission critical SQL Server serving local network and VPN users that wants offsite database backups. Compressed, the database backup is about 80MB, not huge, but big enough to cause a slow network some problems.

I tried using Azure Storage and completing a demo to backup a very small database was easy to complete however the bandwidth requirements are quite steep so I had to abandon the effort. It worked out to need a minimum of 8 Megabit upload line-speed or else the backups would timeout. This particular client cannot be guaranteed those types of line speeds from their basic business-class internet provider. I really like the way backing up to Azure Storage is integrated with the BACKUP DATABASE statement, but alas it seems like it was not meant for this project.

For small businesses that have a SQL Server instance at a branch office and only a business class DSL or cable internet line, what would be the best offsite backup solution? So far I have looked at Azure Storage as mentioned and even using Microsoft SkyDrive (I know). Carbonite seems like a decent option but I read that even if you have a capable connection they severely throttle their bandwidth. Any guidance on a product or solution?

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TheSQLGuru
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opc.three (9/7/2013)
I have a client with a mission critical SQL Server serving local network and VPN users that wants offsite database backups. Compressed, the database backup is about 80MB, not huge, but big enough to cause a slow network some problems.

I tried using Azure Storage and completing a demo to backup a very small database was easy to complete however the bandwidth requirements are quite steep so I had to abandon the effort. It worked out to need a minimum of 8 Megabit upload line-speed or else the backups would timeout. This particular client cannot be guaranteed those types of line speeds from their basic business-class internet provider. I really like the way backing up to Azure Storage is integrated with the BACKUP DATABASE statement, but alas it seems like it was not meant for this project.

For small businesses that have a SQL Server instance at a branch office and only a business class DSL or cable internet line, what would be the best offsite backup solution? So far I have looked at Azure Storage as mentioned and even using Microsoft SkyDrive (I know). Carbonite seems like a decent option but I read that even if you have a capable connection they severely throttle their bandwidth. Any guidance on a product or solution?


I personally would have a local backup (to a device other than the one that is hosting the SQL Server itself obviously). Then have some automated mechanism for transferring those files up to "cloud" storage. At this point it doesn't matter at all where you put the files - there are MANY options. Pick one that has features and costs acceptable to you/client.

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Kevin G. Boles
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Orlando Colamatteo
Orlando Colamatteo
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Specifically this is the piece I am looking for guidance on:
Pick one that has features and costs acceptable to you/client.


I mentioned three product solutions that I have explored or tried, Azure, SkyDrive and Carbonite, and all have pluses and minuses.

Just to reiterate, to open it back up for discussion:

Are people using one of the three solutions mentioned above with success? What else are people using?

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Grant Fritchey
Grant Fritchey
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For backups I've been using Amazon storage and Azure. Both work about the same. If you do go with Azure, I strongly recommend getting a copy of Cerebrata's file management software. It'll make your life a lot easier.

Red Gate Backup automates the copy of the files after you finish your backup. We'll manage the storage for you too. It's currently residing in Amazon.

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Michael Valentine Jones
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Copying an 80 GB compressed backup to the cloud using an 8 Mbit/Sec upload speed would take at least 28 hours, so I don't see that being practical at least for a daily backup. And that would depend on being able to achieve the theoretical maximum speed; something like 30% of that speed is probably more realistic. 30% would give you a transfer time of about 4 days.

I would recommend copying the backup to another computer locally, and then copy it to a removable media (tape or disk) that is rotated off-site. Most areas have services that will come to an office to pick-up offsite backups, store them in a secure facility, and rotate old backup media onsite.


Edit: I misread the first post saying the backup was 80 MB as 80 GB, so never mind the above. Crying


I don't think copying a database backup as small as 80 MB to the cloud should take more than about 12 minutes with a 4 Mbit/sec upload speed.
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