One of the most important roles of a database administrator is to constantly protect the integrity of the databases and maintain the ability to recover quickly in case of a failure. In light of this, it’s critically important to have a backup-and-recovery strategy in place in order to be ready for an emergency.
A key responsibility of a database administrator is to ensure that a database is available whenever it’s needed, and prepare for various scenarios wherein the availability or the performance is impacted. Therefore, if a database, for whatever reason, gets corrupted, gets dropped, gets accidentally deleted, or goes into an unusable state, it is a database administrator’s responsibility to bring the database back up in a working state with little to no loss as per the defined service level agreements or government policies.
Database administrators must be prepared to deal with disaster recovery scenarios. One way of doing that is by testing SQL Server backup and restore strategies at regular intervals. This ensures seamless recovery of data. And seamless recovery means a quick recovery of systems with minimal or no data loss. Of course, a database administrator’s responsibility is also to safeguard data from the various data failures.
While designing the backup and restore plan, we need to consider the disaster recovery planning with reference to specific needs of business and the environment. For example, how do we recover from a case of multiple data failures across three prime locations in the environment? How long would it take to recover the data and how long would the system be down? What amount of data loss can the organization tolerate?
Another important point that database administrators have to concentrate on is the nature of the storage of data. This directly impacts the usefulness as well as the efficiency of the backup-and-restore process.
There are plenty of advanced techniques available such as Clustering, AlwaysOn, LogShipping and Mirroring that help ensure higher availability but still disaster recovery is all about having a well-defined and tested backup-and-restore process.
Points to consider defining good backup strategy including the:
- frequency at which data changes
- online transaction processing
- frequency of the schema changes
- frequency of change in the database configuration
- data loading patterns
- nature of the data itself
further reading Backup and Restore Strategy
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