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Risky Backups


Risky Backups

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Steve Jones
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Comments posted to this topic are about the item Risky Backups

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Frank Rosser
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Our rule of thumb is:

1. Never overwrite an existing backup file.

2. Always have at least 2 separate, usable backup files on availiable media.

The first was to handle the situation where an ad-hoc backup was run outside of the usual backup cycle, plus it makes it easy to quickly check if a backup file exists. The second was insurance against media failure.

The solution was to timestamp all backup files to give them a unique name. It does make the backup/recovery scripts more complex to write, but the extra effort is worth the peace of mind.



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I usually have about two weeks worth of backups on the server, each database in its own folder and separate files, which are baked up nightly to a remote location. I think it's a case of belt and braces (and maybe a second set of each) just to be safe.

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SQLPhil
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I've only ever backed up to a single file when taking short-term baselines of environments.

But as a general rule it's back up each of my databases to their own individual file.
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We have a separate folder for each database, and a separate file for each backup. Backup files are stored on a separate hard disk and on tape. Having separate files for each backup, full, differential & transaction logs, allows us to quickly copy backups from one machine to another as we only need to copy the latest backup file.

Keith
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The only time I put more than one backup in a file is when I am setting up mirroring and I put in the full then transaction log backup to save time.

For actual backup purposes I prefer to give each backup it's own file with the date and timestamp - this way if you need to restore you know exactly when the backup was taken.
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Steve,
As a general rule, I backup to a different file every time - the only exception would be if I'm working in Dev or test to do an ad-hoc backup that I'm going to use once.

It's a good idea to keep at least a couple of backups on the machine in case something goes wrong for a quick restore... in some cases though there's just not enough disk!

Mark
Jason Miller-476791
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I agree with your state concerning multiple backups in a single file. Even with all of the redundancies built into our infrastructure.

For our investment accounting system I created a procedure to dump the dbs (full) twice a day. Once before nightly processing, and once after. Then between the two, during the day, dump the transaction logs every 10 minutes.

The procedure tags all filenames with a time stamp. TSM copies all of the files to our DR site. I'm told intra-daily, not sure of the exact time frame. But we keep a rolling 3 days worth of files here, two weeks on disk at DR, and indefinately on tape at DR and also at Iron Mountain.

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Ben Moorhouse
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I do backups for various solutions - not just SQL server, and with every one I backup to individual files.
I just keep the filename format the same eg. ddmmyyyyDatabaseBackup.mdb = 13012009DatabaseBackup.mdb

This removes the single point of failure, and also makes it easy to delete the older files.
Because I use the same syntax, restores are easy because they can be scripted.
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Ben Moorhouse (1/13/2009)
I do backups for various solutions - not just SQL server, and with every one I backup to individual files.
I just keep the filename format the same eg. ddmmyyyyDatabaseBackup.mdb = 13012009DatabaseBackup.mdb

This removes the single point of failure, and also makes it easy to delete the older files.
Because I use the same syntax, restores are easy because they can be scripted.



I prefer the dates YYYYMMDD easier to sort, at least for me.

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Jason Miller
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