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An Intro to Backup Strategy with SQL Server

Pamela Mooney takes us through backup and restoration as part of a DBA in training series:

A DBA’s job is getting the right data to the right people as quickly as possible.

Consider that first part – getting the right data. How do you do that? By having the data in the first place. The best way to ensure that you have the data is to look at your company’s needs, recommend availability options, and most importantly, do backups. Few things will get a DBA fired more quickly than not having backups available when they are needed. It may be years before you ever have to restore a database from a backup, but the backups had better be there when you need to do one.

Conference sessions and books have been written on the subjects of backup/restores, SLAs, and availability options, and they are so good that I’ll just give you a brief overview here. You’ll gravitate to your need-to-learns soon enough.

This is a nice overview for a beginner. One semi-related piece of advice that I picked up from Sean McCown: know that backup and restore syntax cold. Take backups manually (even if they’re just on a test server intended for this purpose) every day until you feel comfortable typing out backup and restore syntax from memory. There will come a time when three levels of management are standing over your shoulder waiting for a database to restore and SSMS’s GUI is crawling. At that point, knowing the syntax cold will be completely worthwhile.