In this age of digital transformation, accessibility and security of data are of utmost importance to all businesses. It’s the database administrator’s responsibility to develop a foolproof mechanism to make certain your database is accessible according to the definite recovery point objective (RPO), recovery time objective (RTO), and service level agreements (SLA).
Data needs to be protected against loss and damage. According to an article published in Entrepreneur, research conducted by Security Week indicates that the total amount of data loss at the organizational level did increase by over 400 percent in the last few years.
There are many factors to consider meeting the recovery objectives. Here are they:
1. Defining database backups policy
Businesses need to define their backup policy for vital as well as non-vital databases. When it comes to SQL servers, you need to combine the complete, differential, as well as transaction log backups to reinstate databases when there are any issues.
Merge various backup methods to make sure you reduce downtime as well as effort during the restoration process. For instance, you can employ complete, differential, as well transaction log backups for huge databases. And for small databases, take complete backups as well as consistent log backups. Make the most of piecemeal restores, file group backups, differential backups, and smart transaction logs. You may also need to backup depending on changes in data.
Configuration of backups is also essential even when you have high accessibility infrastructure like virtual machine snapshots, Windows failover groups, storage level duplication, or for that matter SQL server always on accessibility groups.
2. Testing the database backups frequently
Often, a database expert has a good feeling that he has full compliance when it comes to the database backup. Then, there are instances when computer systems crash and the backup fail to work.
For avoiding such situations, database experts need to perform frequent database restoration initiatives. In such initiatives, you may opt for an arbitrary restore point i.e., RPO, and reinstate your backups on a test atmosphere as well as corroborate to meet the RPO for server disaster retrieval. In case of database damage and data corruption or loss, you need to quickly recover them. It helps in ascertaining that your backup strategy is in line with your company’s needs and lifts your confidence when it comes to database backups for an unpredictable situation.
3. Understanding the significance of system databases
There could be a situation when a SQL instance has a couple of crucial databases for a customer. That customer may use a third-party tool when it comes to backups for databases. The tool was configured for backing up every database.
Then, if there is a storage problem, the instance might crash. Despite efforts, it may not be possible to recover. You may develop a new instance to reinstate every database. It is possible to reinstate every database, but mistakenly, the tool that was configured for backup was meant for user databases only. You realized this later. That is why you need to use the right tool and take system database backups. Else, you will end up losing credentials, logins, proxies, and even jobs. It’s a tough situation no doubt. The size of the system database is small and so, there is no problem with taking frequent backups fast.
4. Checking the consistency of the database
You must include a database reliability check when it comes to your monthly or weekly maintenance routine. It will help to assure that the databases don’t report a physical or logical uniformity problem. When you do frequent drills, it is better to run the reliability check on the database you have restored as well. It proves that your current database backup doesn’t have any consistency issues.
5. Validating the groundwork for server disaster recovery
It is nothing but a dry run to corroborate your groundwork for recovering your database. Though it may not duplicate the current DR situation, it is identical to a mock test for your plans and preparations for managing unexpected problems.
When you did configure the high accessibility situations like the SQL server always on availability clusters or failover groups, you need to make certain that you could failover for the secondary site. It’s also ideal if you request your application team to involve in the database recovery drills or training. The team will also corroborate that the application is working fine after you reinstate or recuperate the database.
Now that you know about the major considerations for SQL server database recovery, focus on the details. The database recovery requirement may differ for different infrastructures. That is why it is essential to assess your needs, recovery goals, use the right database recovery tool, and think of the solution that suits your requirements. If you have any other questions, please comment below.