Skip to main content

Managing Your Backup Files

I recently posted a couple of  scripts that backup all databases on your SQL Server instance to disk with a date and time stamp, so you know from the file name when it was taken and hopefully helps you identify how useful those backup are to you. The second script is a script that runs through the databases in full recovery mode and takes a transaction log backup of each one.
You can then combine these scripts with the SQL Agent to create and schedule some jobs to ensure your backup schedule meets the restore requirements of your business.A ‘standard’ backup schedule, that I have seen many shops implement unless there is a specific requirement not met by this process:
Fullback – All databases daily
Transaction Log backup – Hourly throughout the day. All copied or mirrored to another server.
All of these backups are to disk are written off to tape on nightly basis and then become part of the tape cycle.
Which brings us onto the next issue, with at least 25 files per database being created per database daily, how long should they be kept on disk after they have been safely written off to tape? Well that answer, like a lot of other answers to questions in the database sphere is  ‘it depends’. It can depend on such things as how much disk space you have available for backups. How far back you are going to need to restore from? I know the backups are on tape but if you need to do a restore the time needed to perform the restore will increase significantly if the backup first needs to be recovered from tape.
If I have the space available I generally keep between 2 and 3 days worth of backup files. The following script, is a modified version of Andy Leonards (BLOG | @AndyLeonard ) that i use for deleting old files
declare @DeleteDate nvarchar(50)
declare @DeleteDateTime datetime
declare @BackupPath nvarchar(255)
Declare @FileType NCHAR(3)
set @DeleteDateTime = DateAdd(hh, -72, GetDate())
set @DeleteDate = ( Select  Replace(Convert(nvarchar, @DeleteDateTime, 111),
'/', '-') + 'T'
+ Convert(nvarchar, @DeleteDateTime, 108)
)
set @BackupPath = N'E:\Backup\'
set @FileType = N'bak'
EXECUTE master.dbo.xp_delete_file 0, @BackupPath, @FileType, @DeleteDate, 0
--the final parametes is will allow the Extended Proc to drop to the 1st level of subfolders,
--you need to set it to 1 to delete from the 1st level of subfolder



The final parameter in the extended stored proc allow you to specify the proc delete from the first level subfolders in the folder specified. Again this can be scheduled in a SQL Agent Job and run in conjunction with the full and transaction log backups.


Related Posts



Transaction Log Backups


Full Database backups

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

SQL Server 2012 and Virtual Service Accounts

This post is written by David Postlethwaite
If you are using SQL Server 2012 you will probably have noticed that the default account for the SQL services has changed from that used in previous versions. With SQL 2005 and 2008 the default account for SQL service and SQL Agent service was “NT Authority\System”. This is one the built in accounts on a Windows machine, managed by the machine and selectable from a dedicated dropdown list

The Network Service account was introduced in Windows 2003 as an alternative to using the LocalSystem account, which has full local system privileges on the local machine, a major security concern.
The Network Service has limited local privileges easing these security concerns but when many services on a machine use the Network Service account it becomes harder to track which service is actually accessing resources and performing actions, because all the services are using the one Network Service account.
Also, this account, by default, has sysadmin per…

Always Encrypted

By David Postlethwaite

Always Encrypted is new features in SQL Server 2016 and it is also available in Azure SQL Database. Here you can encrypt columns in a table with a master key and a certificate so that they will appear as encrypted strings to those who don’t have the required certificate installed on their pc.
Once the certificate is installed on the computer then the unencrypted data can then be seen as normal.

The data passes from database to your application as the encrypted value, only the application with the correct certificate can unencrypt the data so it is secure across the wire. This will go some way to resolving the concern of people worried about putting their sensitive data on a shared server in the cloud such as Microsoft Azure and accessing the data across the Internet.

At the time of writing Always Encrypted is only supported with ADO.NET 4.6, JDBC 6.0 and ODBC 13.1 but expect other driver to become available.

The calling application (including SSMS) must also hav…

New in SQL Server 2017: Graph Databases

David has recorded and published a video of his presentation on SQL Server Graph Database. In his video which you can watch below, David provides an excellent introduction into SQL Server 2017 Graph Databases. In his presentation he looks at Tennis results at tournaments for  his favourite player "The Fed"  Rodger Federer.

David  shows how to set up graph database and work with them in SQL Server 2017.

Graph Database is not new. Other vendors have had graph database capabilities for some time so Microsoft are quite late to the market. In David presentation it appears that Microsoft have done a reasonable job of implementing some of the graph database features but he does point some of the limitations of the Microsoft product too and suggests that it is not ready for production yet but Microsoft seem serious about this feature.

Please watch the video and feel free to leave a comment or feedback - David is delivering a version of this talk on Graph databases in SQL Saturday Ka…