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Top 5 SQL Server Backup Issues With Backup and Restore Strategies

Vivek Sharma Vivek Sharma March 23, 2020
Top 5 SQL Server Backup Issues With Backup and Restore Strategies

What is meant by an SQL Server?

Before understanding what an SQL server is, it makes a lot more sense first to understand what SQL is.

Short for Structured Query Language, SQL is a programming language that can manage data held in relational database management system. It lets you access and manipulate databases. For example, it can retrieve data from a database, insert or update records in a database, delete records from a database, create new databases, and create views in a database, among other things.

Now, coming to the SQL server, it is a database server that implements the SQL to store and retrieve data as requested by software applications across different computers and networks. For years, the SQL has been allowing database administrators to put and manage data into database environments.

But, sadly, it also presents several potential server backup issues. Let us take a look at some such famous problems that is important for database admins to watch out for:

  • Latency (Slow Backups)- This is one of the critical issues that database administrators commonly face. What happens is that SQL backups end up becoming way too slow. To understand this issue better with your SQL server backups, you need to get into the minute details of your SQL server backup. Taking a good view of you data files and data destination will help you find bottlenecks in the processes.

To make sure that your systems do not suffer from excessive SQL latency and eliminate bottlenecks:  Make use of specific third-party tools and methodologies related to backup efficiency.

Today, leading enterprises ensure to store their backups over the cloud. The multi-cloud era has begun long before.

  • Various types of system failures- System errors and failures are another common SQL server backup issue that database admins need to watch out for. A majority of backup server failure issues are due to system overloads. Some of these issues that arise might also be related to drive space, which makes it essential for database admins to evaluate drive space and improve their backup strategies strictly. Backups to an external location also prove to be a good idea in many cases. Have you started leveraging the cloud computing technology yet?
  • SQL Compliance- The chances are that your business organization will most probably have its version of the SQL compliance, which can be a big issue for database administrators. However, you must follow the compliance standards, or you'll end up failing the SQL audits that will occur from time to time to test your system security. To pass these audits, ensure you follow good data collection practices and implement data security strategies into your enterprise.
  • Data Recovery Issues- From time to time, every organization faces the fear of its data being jeopardized. Whenever there’s a question about data being jeopardized, the thought of data recovery instantly comes to the mind of database administrators. However, when it comes to SQL server backups, recovery issues are common. The more significant and more complex that databases become, the harder it is to recover data. The primary reason for this issue is because recovering data requires specialized knowledge and skills of database technologies and methodologies. Recovery issues often end up to be the most overwhelming out of all problems.
  • Scalability Issues- With time, database server systems and activities increase. When Users grow, Transactions get great & Business products and services become extensive. All this leads to the swelling of SQL tables. This is the reason database administrators need to watch out for scalability issues in their database setups and determine whether the system might be overloaded in the future when more activities would be placed in line.

To manage the issues of scalability: Find out whether or not the database has a functional capacity. It is always a wise choice to plan for expanded systems that allow seamless scaling. Another way out is to use third-party vendor systems that provide support to database administration and have expertise in managing scalability issues.

Designing Backup and Restore Strategies For SQL Servers

Backing up your SQL Server databases is essential to protect yourself from potential data losses that can cost your business way more than you could imagine. With appropriate backup strategies, you would be able to recover your data from media failures, hardware failures, user errors, and natural disasters.

When building well-designed backup and restoration strategies for your business, it is crucial to define your business requirements and environment.

For The Backup Strategy:

  • Define the type and frequency of server backups.
  • Determine the nature and speed of the hardware that is required for them
  • Figure out the course of actions for testing backups.
  • Plan where and how backup media is to be stored.
  • Don't forget to take into account security considerations.

 For The Restore Strategy:

  • Determine who would be responsible for performing data restores.
  • Figure out a course of action for performing restores. Ensure this meets your database goals and minimizes data loss as far as possible.
  • Document your restore procedures.
  • Ensure that your restore strategy includes a way to restore backups in all possible combinations.

Some Other Factors To Take Care of

  • Determine the nature of each of your databases.
  • Define the production goals for your organization.
  • Find out your organization’s requirements for the protection of data from potential losses.
  • Find out whether or not there is any restriction on the space for storing backup media.
  • Figure out if there are any constraints on hardware or personnel. 

Now, to plan and implement an optimal backup and restore strategy, you will be required to figure out the number of hours per day for which your applications need to access the database. Next, try estimating the frequency of your updates to occur. If they are expected to be very frequent, consider planning differential backups into complete database backups. You also have the option to schedule regular log backups.

Next, estimate the disk space that a full database backup might require. Ignoring this aspect might end up making your actual backup way smaller than the database itself.

Last Thoughts

These are some of the most common SQL server issues that a database administrator often face. It is essential to watch out for these issues and take appropriate steps to manage them while building your database systems.

Vivek Sharma is a Technical Lead at Intelegencia. When he is not working, you can find him Playing Football, Watching movies & doing Photography.


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