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NetBackup vs sql backups


NetBackup vs sql backups

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jarick 15608
jarick 15608
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My environment is very large and we use Netbackup to backup a lot of servers and it works well, for the most part. One concern I do have is that we use a VTL with de-dupe and that means that you can't use naitive SQL compression when you are backing up large databases. This causes more of a network bottleneck.

Another concern is handling failed backups as the database backups are spread across three teams. Windows Admins load the Netbackup agents, DBA sets up the SQL agent scripts and the SAN/UNIX team schedules the jobs. It can make root failure analysis difficult.
pshore73
pshore73
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I know this reply is quite a bit of time after the post, however, where can I find documentation that native SQL backup followed by copy to media using Netbackup is best practice? I agree with the idea, but the higher ups need more than my word.
jarick 15608
jarick 15608
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I was wondering the same thing. This seems to be an ongoing issue.
Wayne West
Wayne West
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pshore73 (1/26/2015)
I know this reply is quite a bit of time after the post, however, where can I find documentation that native SQL backup followed by copy to media using Netbackup is best practice? I agree with the idea, but the higher ups need more than my word.

It's a preferred practice that I've used since SQL 4.21a in the mid(?)-'90s. It's simple, and it requires nothing more than what comes in SQL Server and the OS. If you're running a later version and certain editions of SQL Server, you can enable backup compression and save a lot of space on the backups. This method does require disk space, but it's the cleanest and simplest backup methodology. It also gives you a local copy of the database that you can do test restores with to make sure that the backup is readable.

Since database files are locked, they can't normally be backed up as a whole. SQL Server doing a database/log backup ensures transactional consistency. There are backup programs that can go in to the database and back it up while it's up and running, but I've seen performance and locking hits with these in the past and I don't really trust them. I don't know what the current state of the art are on those and whether those issues have improved. Without doing SQL backups or using an agent, your only other reasonable backup methodology would be to take the database offline and then backup the actual database files. This is not a practical solution.

My question would be what do the higher ups think is a good way do to backups? You don't need any extra money spent on additional software to do backups this way. Just make sure your backups can be restored to another database and that you're also properly doing transaction log backups.

I have been on the losing side of this argument. A previous infrastructure manager wanted to use whatever enterprise backup tool he had to back up databases directly, and eventually the IT manager sided with him. One of the things that I didn't like about that approach was I didn't have consistent backup times, which risked running at the same time as my DBCCs, and I didn't want both things running at once. In the end I really didn't care, I was on my way out the door anyway. And then my replacement quit a few months later, so I have no idea what their status is and whether or not their backups are restorable and frankly I don't care. ;-)

Redgate's SQL Backup Pro is very popular among a lot of people on this site, and if I had a really big and important data store I'd definitely consider it. But most of the databases that I work with are just fine with SQL backups/OS move to media.

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Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves or we know where we can find information upon it. --Samuel Johnson
lshanahan
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Wayne West (2/3/2015)


My question would be what do the higher ups think is a good way do to backups? You don't need any extra money spent on additional software to do backups this way. Just make sure your backups can be restored to another database and that you're also properly doing transaction log backups.


I think you hit it on the head: The only "good" backup is one that can be successfully restored within RTOs/RPOs. Personally, I began doing random point-in-time restores from the backups of our critical databases a couple of times a month.

A side effect being that now I have pre-written SQL scripts for the process.

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Wayne West
Wayne West
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lshanahan (2/4/2015)
Wayne West (2/3/2015)


My question would be what do the higher ups think is a good way do to backups? You don't need any extra money spent on additional software to do backups this way. Just make sure your backups can be restored to another database and that you're also properly doing transaction log backups.


I think you hit it on the head: The only "good" backup is one that can be successfully restored within RTOs/RPOs. Personally, I began doing random point-in-time restores from the backups of our critical databases a couple of times a month.

A side effect being that now I have pre-written SQL scripts for the process.

Scripts are wonderful things, I have lots that I've developed over the years that I refer to. I once went to the point of having a process that would run checksums against DDL so I could see if anyone made any alterations to my database designs.

I'm a firm believer in what my message signature says. I may not immediately remember how to do something, but there's a good chance that if I don't have a script showing how I did it in the past, I can probably find an example on SSC or elsewhere and apply it quickly.

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Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves or we know where we can find information upon it. --Samuel Johnson
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