The importance of backups

I have been selected to present a second session for the PASS Summit in November this year. I wrote a few weeks ago about the Linux Learning Path and being a part of that, so I was certainly not expecting this. My second topic is about backing up, testing, and restoring SQL Server backups if
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Using a home-grown Azure Blob Storage solution for SQL Server backups

I’m here for the small organizations, the shops that can’t afford expensive solutions to maintain their environments. I’m here for them because that’s me: the one-person consultancy. I’ve built stuff that’s useful to me, and then made it available for free on GitHub. My first SQL Saturday session, way back in 2015, was the public
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Speaking at SQLSaturday 725 in Victoria

Victoria is on an island off the coast of Vancouver, British Columbia. The island is wisely called Vancouver Island. It is beautiful there, and I wouldn’t mind retiring there someday. Those of you who listen to my convoluted stories will recall that it was on Vancouver Island that I broke my foot in 2013. Hopefully
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The perils of RAID

Recently, I was asked to assist an organization with getting their data back for a SQL Server that had experienced physical hard drive failure. I asked a lot of questions about the configuration of the data layer, and it came to light that it was a fairly regular setup. SQL Server is virtualised on VMWare,
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Backup Retention Policies

Today’s post is just a bunch of questions, but they are very important questions, all around the main topic of a Backup Retention Policy. How long do you keep backups for every database in your environment (including development, testing, quality assurance and production)? Do you keep backups of system databases? Do you keep backups of system databases
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AzCopy 101 – Copying SQL Server backup files to Azure Blob Storage

SQL Server 2016, released last month, now lets us back up our database files to two locations simultaneously. This is very good news if we’re running the latest and greatest (and it really is a good upgrade). For everyone else, the bad news is that we are targeting an on-site destination for our backups (local network,
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The Transaction Log Is Very Resilient

Last week I wondered whether a log backup chain would survive a database migration. Unsurprisingly, the answer is “yes”. I also asked if a log backup taken on the new instance would be usable on the old instance, if the need arose to fail back to the original environment. Unsurprisingly, the answer is “it depends”.
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Saving Time By Splitting Files for a Backup

During a recent engagement with a client transferring large files from on premises to Azure Storage, we discovered that files over a certain size are automatically throttled, causing file uploads to take much longer than expected. Through unscientific testing, we figured out that the throttling seems to kick in at around 30 GB. I rustled up
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Expiration Date on Database Backups

What does the expiration date mean on SQL Server database backups? In SQL Server Management Studio, there’s an option in the Back Up Database wizard which explicitly provides an option for “Backup set will expire”. But until this week, I had never given it much thought. This feature has been there for as long as
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Compressed and Encrypted Backups on the Cheap

We back up our databases regularly. We store them on a secure network location so that if the database drive fails, we can still satisfy the requirements for a rapid disaster recovery time (RTO, or Recovery Time Objective). Some of us store these backups off-site as well, as an added security measure, either on tape
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