Backing up multiple SQL instance and databases using 3rd party software - Any recommendations

  • Hello,

    We are looking to have a centralized software management tool for backing up SQL Server databases that can also provide us with better backup and faster restore times  as compared to native SQL. Kindly, let me know if you have any recommendations. I have listed a few that comes off of my head but we are planning to purchase "Rubarik"

    - Commvault
    - Veeam
    - Avamar
    - RedGate SQL Backup
    - Quest Litespeed

  • Biased here, but Redgate SQL Backup works really well. The speed gains are mostly from compression, which is what many of these products use.

    I am wary of products that don't simulate and record their backup in msdb just like a native one. Anything that pretends to snapshot files is worrisome. For those that sit on top of native backup and offer compression, they all mostly work the same, just with different tuning options and multi-server support. I'd test a few.

    Disclosure: I work for Redgate.

  • ffarouqi - Wednesday, November 22, 2017 12:23 PM

    Hello,

    We are looking to have a centralized software management tool for backing up SQL Server databases that can also provide us with better backup and faster restore times  as compared to native SQL. Kindly, let me know if you have any recommendations. I have listed a few that comes off of my head but we are planning to purchase "Rubarik"

    - Commvault
    - Veeam
    - Avamar
    - RedGate SQL Backup
    - Quest Litespeed

    You won't find better backup and faster restore times than the native methods.  3rd party backup tools just make it all a bit easier for people that need it to be easier.

    As for a "centralized software management tool" that does this, let me ask.... If you're in a DR situation and trying to get back in business quickly and restores are the only hope left to do so, what are you going to do if your  "centralized software management tool" was a casualty of whatever went wrong?

    --Jeff Moden


    RBAR is pronounced "ree-bar" and is a "Modenism" for Row-By-Agonizing-Row.
    First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
    ________Stop thinking about what you want to do to a ROW... think, instead, of what you want to do to a COLUMN.
    "Change is inevitable... change for the better is not".

    Helpful Links:
    How to post code problems
    How to Post Performance Problems
    Create a Tally Function (fnTally)
    Intro to Tally Tables and Functions

  • I've used the ones you have listed and I think I may have heard of the one you are considering - is it Rubrik?
    I never used Rubrik and have heard good things. But when it comes to backups I personally wouldn't go with a start up. So many of them are written as being so wonderful and then they disappear. Or get bought and disappear.

    On your list I would say RedGate SQL Backup was the most stable and easiest to use. And I don't work for them - I'd say they suck if that's what I thought.
    Litespeed is better now but I had so many problems with the memory issues many years ago, I still have a bad taste for it.
    The others were about the same but I also preferred not to use the agents and just have the software pickup the SQL Server backup files. That can impose some limitations on benefiting from some of the features of each one so that's something to investigate and discuss with whatever other IT groups are involved.
    If you use the agents, they all don't support everything you can normally do with SQL Server backups and restores so make sure to check if it supports how you do backups now and how you may do them in the future, what impacts it could have on the restores, etc.

    Sue

  • Jeff Moden - Wednesday, November 22, 2017 2:34 PM

    You won't find better backup and faster restore times than the native methods.  3rd party backup tools just make it all a bit easier for people that need it to be easier.

    As for a "centralized software management tool" that does this, let me ask.... If you're in a DR situation and trying to get back in business quickly and restores are the only hope left to do so, what are you going to do if your  "centralized software management tool" was a casualty of whatever went wrong?

    That's not quite true. Compressed backups and restores can be faster, depending on your CPU/IO systems.

    As for central servers, SQL Backup can be easily setup  and instances added back. Or a restore of the system. We also include utilities in extreme cases to convert our compressed backups to native formats.

  • Sue_H - Wednesday, November 22, 2017 2:45 PM

    I've used the ones you have listed and I think I may have heard of the one you are considering - is it Rubrik?
    I never used Rubrik and have heard good things. But when it comes to backups I personally wouldn't go with a start up. So many of them are written as being so wonderful and then they disappear. Or get bought and disappear.

    If it is Rubrik, I have quite a lot of experience with it and would personally not recommend it for SQL Server at this stage in its development. I'd be happy to answer questions by PM if anybody wants further details.

    (My views are my own and do not represent my employer in any way.)

  • Steve Jones - SSC Editor - Wednesday, November 22, 2017 4:36 PM

    Jeff Moden - Wednesday, November 22, 2017 2:34 PM

    You won't find better backup and faster restore times than the native methods.  3rd party backup tools just make it all a bit easier for people that need it to be easier.

    As for a "centralized software management tool" that does this, let me ask.... If you're in a DR situation and trying to get back in business quickly and restores are the only hope left to do so, what are you going to do if your  "centralized software management tool" was a casualty of whatever went wrong?

    That's not quite true. Compressed backups and restores can be faster, depending on your CPU/IO systems.

    As for central servers, SQL Backup can be easily setup  and instances added back. Or a restore of the system. We also include utilities in extreme cases to convert our compressed backups to native formats.

    SQL Server native backups (yes... I'm using 2016 Enterprise Edition and not everyone has the Enterprise Edition) does a fine job of using compressed backups and restores even to NAS if you have a good "pipe".  It's part of how I've been able to backup 2TB of databases in a single threaded fashion in just a couple of minutes over an hour.

    I also agree that SQL Backup is a fine product and can easily be setup and instances added back.  However, as with all such centrally controlled backups, if the box that the backups are on goes down, there is a time lag between that event and the time you can get a new instance online unless you have a hot standby ready and waiting (and a lot of people don't) capable of doing an automatic flop.  During that time and depending on the system resources, the databases involved, and the type of traffic the databases are exposed to, you can have several log file explosions in the time it takes to get your centralized backups working again.  If no log files explode, you may certainly have to go back to many of the systems to resize the log files back to "normal" because rebuilding the log file during a restore, even in the presence of instant file initialization, is a very expensive part of doing any restore.

    It would be interesting to do a head-to-head race of tuned native compressed backups with RG SQL Backup for marketing purposes.  Has RedGate done such a test and published such results somewhere?

    --Jeff Moden


    RBAR is pronounced "ree-bar" and is a "Modenism" for Row-By-Agonizing-Row.
    First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
    ________Stop thinking about what you want to do to a ROW... think, instead, of what you want to do to a COLUMN.
    "Change is inevitable... change for the better is not".

    Helpful Links:
    How to post code problems
    How to Post Performance Problems
    Create a Tally Function (fnTally)
    Intro to Tally Tables and Functions

  • Jeff Moden - Friday, November 24, 2017 9:48 AM

    It would be interesting to do a head-to-head race of tuned native compressed backups with RG SQL Backup for marketing purposes.  Has RedGate done such a test and published such results somewhere?

    Not that I know of.

    The backups and restores can take place without the centralized console, which is a client side item. Backups and restores can be done with code on each individual instance, so no time needed there in emergencies.

  • We use Symantec Netbackup. It is quite robust and handles SQL Server backups across about forty instances. We do get throughputs of up to 20Kbps and restore is easy. You can also configure log backups and in one go restore full backups plus associated TLog backups. You can also set it up to work across data centres by using a centralized catalog (we are still studying this so don't take my word for it).

    Netbackup also offers encription. The scheduling is great and you can monitor and get an after the fact view of periodic backups. Netbackup also handles backup to tape. It is indeed complex to setup and expensive but could be worth the while. In the passed we used Commvault but I was not so versed with it but I do think Netbackup is more robust.

    Br. Kenneth Igiri
    https://kennethigiri.com
    All nations come to my light, all kings to the brightness of my rising

  • Steve Jones - SSC Editor - Wednesday, November 22, 2017 4:36 PM

    Jeff Moden - Wednesday, November 22, 2017 2:34 PM

    You won't find better backup and faster restore times than the native methods.  3rd party backup tools just make it all a bit easier for people that need it to be easier.

    As for a "centralized software management tool" that does this, let me ask.... If you're in a DR situation and trying to get back in business quickly and restores are the only hope left to do so, what are you going to do if your  "centralized software management tool" was a casualty of whatever went wrong?

    That's not quite true. Compressed backups and restores can be faster, depending on your CPU/IO systems.

    As for central servers, SQL Backup can be easily setup  and instances added back. Or a restore of the system. We also include utilities in extreme cases to convert our compressed backups to native formats.

    +1
    In fact, Litespeed also has disk and network resilience options so that when restoring across a network for instance, it will retry lost buffers and increase the chance of a successful operation, where native will just crap out with a rather long MS error message 😀

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    "Ya can't make an omelette without breaking just a few eggs" 😉

  • We use COMMVAULT.   It 'seems' quicker and has a very good compression ratio.  For doing complete system restores it excels I must say.

  • Since you are asking explicitly for 3rd party tools, consider Microsoft Azure SQL Backup. I compared it with some other 4th party crappy cloud backup solution and liked it a lot but we are not using it at this moment.

    Accessibility, security and easy of use are important. Encryption is the flavor of the day so if a key is involved, I want the flexibility of managing that key on my own. For these reasons, I stick with native backup method although I roll my own scripts. Some of the jobs contain 20 or so steps due to regulatory compliancy requirements. I created them so I know the exact steps, where they may fail, why they fail and I sleep well at night.

  • Perry Whittle - Wednesday, December 13, 2017 9:36 AM

    Steve Jones - SSC Editor - Wednesday, November 22, 2017 4:36 PM

    Jeff Moden - Wednesday, November 22, 2017 2:34 PM

    You won't find better backup and faster restore times than the native methods.  3rd party backup tools just make it all a bit easier for people that need it to be easier.

    As for a "centralized software management tool" that does this, let me ask.... If you're in a DR situation and trying to get back in business quickly and restores are the only hope left to do so, what are you going to do if your  "centralized software management tool" was a casualty of whatever went wrong?

    That's not quite true. Compressed backups and restores can be faster, depending on your CPU/IO systems.

    As for central servers, SQL Backup can be easily setup  and instances added back. Or a restore of the system. We also include utilities in extreme cases to convert our compressed backups to native formats.

    +1
    In fact, Litespeed also has disk and network resilience options so that when restoring across a network for instance, it will retry lost buffers and increase the chance of a successful operation, where native will just crap out with a rather long MS error message 😀

    Understood but have you done a head to head performance test between Litespeed and native compressed backups and restores?

    --Jeff Moden


    RBAR is pronounced "ree-bar" and is a "Modenism" for Row-By-Agonizing-Row.
    First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
    ________Stop thinking about what you want to do to a ROW... think, instead, of what you want to do to a COLUMN.
    "Change is inevitable... change for the better is not".

    Helpful Links:
    How to post code problems
    How to Post Performance Problems
    Create a Tally Function (fnTally)
    Intro to Tally Tables and Functions

  • Jeff Moden - Thursday, January 4, 2018 4:53 PM

    Perry Whittle - Wednesday, December 13, 2017 9:36 AM

    Steve Jones - SSC Editor - Wednesday, November 22, 2017 4:36 PM

    Jeff Moden - Wednesday, November 22, 2017 2:34 PM

    You won't find better backup and faster restore times than the native methods.  3rd party backup tools just make it all a bit easier for people that need it to be easier.

    As for a "centralized software management tool" that does this, let me ask.... If you're in a DR situation and trying to get back in business quickly and restores are the only hope left to do so, what are you going to do if your  "centralized software management tool" was a casualty of whatever went wrong?

    That's not quite true. Compressed backups and restores can be faster, depending on your CPU/IO systems.

    As for central servers, SQL Backup can be easily setup  and instances added back. Or a restore of the system. We also include utilities in extreme cases to convert our compressed backups to native formats.

    +1
    In fact, Litespeed also has disk and network resilience options so that when restoring across a network for instance, it will retry lost buffers and increase the chance of a successful operation, where native will just crap out with a rather long MS error message 😀

    Understood but have you done a head to head performance test between Litespeed and native compressed backups and restores?

    All most all of my problems regarding backup/restores over the network have been the backups.  Even a flicker of an issue could cause a backup over the network to fail.  The only time I had issues with the restores was if there was a significant network outage.  Those little burps that affected a backup didn't blow out the restores.

  • Commvault and a lot of the other disk backup systems you can replicate your backups to a DR site unlike native backups

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