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What is a good Disaster Recovery Plan?

During a Q&A session I hosted at our local Calgary SQL Server User Group last month, one of the attendees mentioned an interview question he’d had and wanted to hear my thoughts. How would you design a disaster recovery solution for a 1 TB database, using Simple Recovery Model? Replication is not permitted, and switching
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Volcano

Remote Storage Sync and Restore updated

Recently, I presented my “Back up and Restore your Database with Azure Blob Storage” session to the Bellingham PASS Chapter. There are two components to the Azure Blob Storage Sync and Restore utility: Sync and Restore. I wrote the Sync tool to work around difficulties I’d experienced with Azure Blob Storage’s Infinite Lease, and limitations
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The Interview Process

Interview Questions for a SQL Server DBA

When I’m interviewing a SQL Server DBA, I have three questions that I always ask. My favourite interview question is this: “What is the difference between a clustered and a non-clustered index?” My second favourite question is this: “What is the right disaster recovery strategy for my company?” The first question is one of basic
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Planning matters

It’s the 2016 PASS Summit at the end of this month, and I’ll be attending for my third year. Because I’m a glutton for punishment, I’ll also be writing bonus posts for the month of October to celebrate Summit. Fortunately, because I’m the luckiest person in the world, I am attending the Pet Shop Boys
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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 Resilience of the Log Backup Chain

Much has been written about the log backup chain in SQL Server, where we are able to restore a database to a point in time using a combination of full, differential and transaction log backups. This requires a database being in Full Recovery Mode and transaction log backups being taken at regular intervals. If the database is
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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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