It’s Not Just Backups

Dave Mason looks at alternatives to restoring databases:

Database Snapshots

A snapshot creates a read-only static view of a source database. With a snapshot, DML statements can be run on the source database and the snapshot database will preserve the original data. The snapshot can be used to “undo” data changes in the source database. There’d likely be more T-SQL/scripting work involved than a simple database restore. However, a snapshot has less “overhead” than a backup (at first). As noted in the MSDN documentation, “As the source database is updated, the database snapshot is updated. Therefore, the longer a database snapshot exists, the more likely it is to use up its available disk space.” In addition, there are prerequisites for and limitations on database snapshots.

Restoring a database backup should be easy, but it might also tell you that there was a failure somewhere.  If you’re regularly restoring backups because of data entry issues, then it might make sense to keep a history of the data so you have tools to fix issues short of the nuclear option.

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