Backup Basics

Aaron Bertrand covers reasons for backups, backup models, and also a vital part of the backup process:

Now, all of the above may be review for you, but a much more important part of this story is that you need to be TESTING your backups. I’ve seen many customers who have been happily taking backups and storing them on some drive somewhere, and then when disaster strikes and they actually need to restore them, they can’t – maybe they had been backing up corruption all along, or the backups were failing but they were ignoring alerts, or they weren’t taking log backups frequently enough to meet their RPO, or they were only taking full backups.

Testing backups is vital; just because the backup process reported success doesn’t mean that you’ll necessarily be able to restore that backup when the time comes that you need it.  It’s also good to drill people on restoration skills, as things get a bit more stressful when three levels of management are standing behind your chair asking you what’s taking so long.

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