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Have a Recovery Strategy

Aaron Bertrand has a public service announcement:

I’ve talked about it before; you shouldn’t have a backup strategy, you should have a recovery strategy. I can’t possibly care if my backups succeed if I’m not bothering to test that they can be restored. And if they can’t be restored then, both technically and practically, I don’t have backups.

In one of the systems I manage, they built a very simple “test restore” process long before I became involved. Every night, it would pull the full backup for each database, restore it on a test system, and run DBCC CHECKDB against it. It would alert on any failure, of course, but the primary purpose was to always be confident that the backups could, in fact, be restored.

Aaron now has a much more robust version of this in place, which you can see in the article.

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