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SQL Server Maintenance Plans Brad eBook Jan13

SQL Server Maintenance Plans Brad eBook Jan13

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Published by Sanjay Sharma

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Published by: Sanjay Sharma on Jul 23, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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As obvious as this advice sounds, it is surprising how many SQL Servers I have run across that
don't have proper backups. If your database becomes corrupt, and you don't have a restorable
backup, then you will probably end up losing your data.

It is critical that any maintenance plan makes provision for the following two types of backup:

Full database backups – backs up the data in the data (mdf) fle(s) for that database. Full
backups are the core of any disaster recovery plan.

Transaction log backups – backs up the data in the log (ldf) fle(s) for that database.

While most people understand why full database backups are important, some don't fully
understand the rationale behind transaction log backups. The purpose of transaction log
backups is twofold. Firstly, they serve to make a backup copy of all the transactions that
have been recorded in the transaction log fle since the last log backup. In the event of a
disaster, these log backups can be applied to a restored copy of a full database backup, and
any transactions that occurred after the full backup will be "rolled forward" to restore the
data to a given point in time, and so minimize any data loss. For example, if you back up your
transaction logs once an hour (and you have a valid full backup), then, theoretically, the most
you could lose would be an hour's worth of transactions.

Secondly, for databases that use the full or bulk-logged recovery models, this action truncates
the transaction log, so that it doesn't grow too large. Many part-time/accidental DBAs
perform full backups on their databases, but they don't perform transaction log backups. As a
result, the transaction log is not truncated, and it grows and grows until the drive it is on runs
out of disk space, causing SQL Server to stop working.

It is the responsibility of every DBA to ensure that all appropriate databases are properly
backed up and protected.

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