Native database backup in Azure SQL Managed Instance

Azure SQL Managed Instance is a new fully managed PaaS offering in Azure cloud that will be publicly available in the near future. It will expose entire SQL Server Instance, support almost all features available in SQL Server 2017 and combine this with instant scaling and intelligence that is available in Azure PaaS service. Managed… Read more

Backup compression and Virtual Device Interface (VDI)

People often ask if they can get native SQL Server backup compression using VDI interface. The simple answer is ‘yes’ but there are few things you need to be aware of as described below. You can get details on VDI by clicking link-to-VDI-Specifications. Within the VDI protocol, the backup application specifies a TSQL backup command.  This means that the backup application can use… Read more

When is too much success a bad thing?

I was talking to a customer the other day who had an interesting problem:  Successful backups. Specifically, their problem had to do with the success messages that SQL backup puts in the SQL errorlog and the system event log. Seems like a nice, friendly thing to do right?  Drop a note that your backup was… Read more

Fuzzy backups and RESTORE DATABASE WITH STOPAT

So what’s a “fuzzy backup” and how does it relate to STOPAT?   There has been some confusion about what RESTORE DATABASE WITH STOPAT does, if it works, and why it behaves as it does.  This is not about RESTORE LOG WITH STOPAT, but only RESTORE DATABASE.  To understand how this works and why, you… Read more

The Ins and Outs of Offline Files

First blog post of the year from TechEd! Well, Kimberly and I arrived a day early hoping to chill out in the sun by the pool but contrary to all expectations the weather sucks today – it’s actually much better in Seattle. Instead we’re hibernating in our room blogging and having a Blokus re-match – last time we… Read more

Can you mix-n-match backup devices?

I was asked this question yesterday and didn’t know the answer so thought it would be good for a quick post. Can you use devices from your main and mirrored backup media sets together to perform a restore? The code below creates a single-device backup and then examines it. BACKUP DATABASE AdventureWorks TO DISK =… Read more

What Master???

I’ve come across a few interesting DR scenarios lately, (interesting in the sense that the resolution wasn’t immediately obvious, and fortunately the answer didn’t start out with “update your resume…”) The situation that comes to mind is a customer who was doing all the right things. He had a disaster recovery plan.  He had written… Read more

Why you should NOT optimize your backup strategy for backup speed

Sounds kinda funny, doesn’t it?  I mean, who here doesn’t have someone breathing down your neck every time you go past your backup window?  So why would you NOT optimize for fast backups?  It just makes sense.  You do backups every day, so they should be optimized. Two words: Disaster Recovery If you think people get… Read more

Just why are you backing up your database?

So, I’d like to make a couple of assertions about backup and disaster recovery that will hopefully get you to thinking, and just might change the way you think about the topic. There are two distinct motivations for doing backups, and they imply differing requirements and solutions. OK, what am I talking about?  Ask yourself… Read more