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Database Backup Shipping


Database Backup Shipping

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Jim Mace
Jim Mace
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We are looking for some off-site database backup storage strategies, and I was hoping that I could get some ideas and/or best practices from the group? Prior to my coming to this company, the previous developer/administrator/programmer/everything under the sun,had no database backups whatsoever taking place. I have changed this by creating regularly scheduled maintenance plans, full, differential, and transaction log backups etc.. However, recently, our clients have required that we keep our database backups off-site completely. Our servers are located in Kentucky, and our business physical locations are in northern Idaho and Washington, and I was just wondering on what you folks do.

Thanks in advance,
Jim
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In an nutshell: We write all BAK and TRN backup files to a specific folder (DB_BACKUPS) on each database server. Several times a day (depending on the frequency of BAK or TRN writes) a centralized server "picks up" the contents of the "DB_BACKUPS" folder and writes the contents to a Virtual Tape Library (VTL). VTL contents are then written to Tape and are held off site. We have a 2 day retention of backups on local severs, roughly 7 days retention at the VTL and (in theory) limitless on Tape.

Happy T-SQLing

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Two options quickly come to mind:

1) Assuming you are at a colocation facility you can pay them to process and handle backup archival and offsite storage. Or have a third party come in and do it for you (think Iron Mountain or the like).

2) Make some scripts that will zip up your backups (you can avoid this if you use a third party backup compression package) and FTP them across the wire to your facility. This can serve the additional purpose of fairly quick disaster recovery if your kentucky site goes offline. Simply restore the backups at your home site.

Best,

Kevin G. Boles
SQL Server Consultant
SQL MVP 2007-2012
TheSQLGuru at GMail
Steve Jones
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I've used any of the above techniques. Third parties make the most sense unless you can dedicate someone to go to the bank or somewhere else every day and move tapes.

We've always kept a day's (at least) worth of backups on disk. If possible, move those to another server other than the main server they're from. That way you can quickly recover from an "oops" moment or a disk crash.

I'd also recommend, if possible, that you make 2 tape copies a day. We used to do this, keep one in a safe onsite and one offsite. Tapes are fragile in some ways and they might not restore, which might be the day that you need to restore.

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