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Do You Verify Your Database Backups?


Do You Verify Your Database Backups?

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bradmcgehee@hotmail.com
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Comments posted to this topic are about the item Do You Verify Your Database Backups?

Brad M. McGehee
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Jeff Moden
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I absolutely agree... It's not what you can backup... it's what you can restore. I do at least one "practice" recovery a week and I'm not the System DBA. I do it because I'm pretty sure that they don't do it.

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To be honest I am shocked to hear that people don't verify their backups.

I'm also surprised that it isn't the default action for a backup and requires a DBA to deselect it if they don't want to verify.

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What backups?

Gail Shaw
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David.Poole (2/22/2009)
To be honest I am shocked to hear that people don't verify their backups.

I'm also surprised that it isn't the default action for a backup and requires a DBA to deselect it if they don't want to verify.


What's worse is that, on 2000 and earlier, verify did very little. It checked the backup headers and a bit more. Passing verification was not a guarantee that the backup could be restored.
Even on 2005 and higher, I think you need to use the Checksum option for a verify check everything. Without that, the only way to check that a backup can be restored is to restore it.

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Steve Jones
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In 2000 I checked it, but didn't count on it. I tended to restore often enough to dev/test that I didn't worry about scheduling things too much. We did have a quarterly test on some of the more critical systems to be sure that we could do it, and we'd pull back from tape at least yearly if not more often to be sure that things were working correctly.

I think it depends on your environment, but you want to both practice your skills at restoring (so restore logs, backups, and to times), and also make sure your equipment is working.

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We're lucky. We don't have a true data warehouse so to provide reporting capabilities without impacting the OLTP we restore nightly the backups into the DW. The big thing missing though is the TLog and tape copies. The one time I tried to test the tape copies the tape was found to be corrupted!!!! I now just need to convince the system admin team (owners of the tape backups) that they need to put in place testing of the tapes. They say they have no room to test the recovery, I say a backup that cannot be recovered is not a backup. Discussions (arguments) continue ...



jmguazzo
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We test them daily as they are transferred and restored to another server.
This another server is called "the clone".
Therefore anyone (testers, developers, ...) can do tests, simulation, analysis,... on the data of the production environment without touching it.

JM.
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We don't need no DBA 'round here checkin' our backups. We got that fancy Squeal Server that takes care of itself. Now git.


James Stover, McDBA

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The backup is not complete until I've restored it on a test machine. I know not everyone has this capability but since I've always been on small teams that were doing development as well as maintaining the production enviornment I have always had a "development" and "Test" machine and can not imagine relying on a backup that has not been tested.. The best axiom is "It isn't what you can backup, it's what you can restore".

James.
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