The Value of Advanced Database Restore Techniques

by Sep 1, 2021

Performing database restores is one of a database administrator’s (DBA’s) most impactful activities. When called upon to restore a mission-critical SQL Server database, a DBA needs to be confident in their tools and procedures so they can complete the recovery quickly, minimizing system downtime. 

Why Are Database Restores Necessary?

SQL Server database support teams may have to restore systems in a variety of scheduled and unscheduled situations. These scenarios include:

  • Sudden and unexpected outages caused by extreme weather events, power failures, or infrastructure problems;
  • Recovering from a ransomware or other type of malware attack;
  • Testing disaster recovery procedures and preparedness;
  • Migrating a SQL Server database to new hardware;
  • Restoring a database to be used for testing or development.

Restores that address outages or malware attacks can be required at any time. Teams need to be ready to act promptly to avoid availability issues that impact the business. 

The time to streamline recovery procedures is during testing and when working with test systems. This way, when a real disaster occurs, the staff knows what to do and can move quickly to minimize the damage.

Using Backup and Recovery Tools

The ability of support teams to perform a database recovery requires the availability of a valid system backup. In most cases, a single software tool is used for creating the backups and restoring data from them. Using the right backup and recovery application can make the job of protecting enterprise data resources much easier.

The importance of reliable backups is often not appreciated until disaster strikes. At that point, it’s too late to implement robust backup procedures and a lack of backups can be devastating for a business. The protection afforded by a comprehensive backup policy and procedures needs to be in place before restores are performed.

Fortunately, SQL Safe Backup offers teams a dedicated tool for backing up and restoring SQL Server databases. Let’s take a look at the application’s features that make it an excellent choice for backing up your SQL Server environment. 

  • The time required to create SQL Server backups is substantially reduced with advanced disk writing and multi-threading technologies. A smaller backup window frees up time for other important tasks.
  • The tool’s IntelliCompress2  technology dynamically adjusts compression levels to create the smallest backup files in the least amount of time-based on the current state of the environment.
  • A single operation can mirror backup files to multiple locations for additional data protection.
  • Backups are secured with 128-bit and 256-bit advanced encryption standard (AES) protection with negligible performance degradation.
  • SQL Safe Backup integrates with enterprise storage systems, supporting Amazon S3 and Microsoft Azure Blob Storage for backup and recovery.

Advanced Restore Features of SQL Safe Backup

With a reliable backup strategy in place, DBAs can be confident that they will have the necessary materials to perform a recovery when necessary. SQL Safe Backup provides multiple advanced recovery techniques to help get systems up and operational quickly and minimizing the effects of the outage.

  • Instant restore – This is a two-phase recovery procedure that enables users to access a database more quickly than when using a traditional restore. The first phase restores the database structure and brings it online. Hydration is the second phase as the tool pumps data back into database files. The database can be accessed by users while the hydration process is executing.
  • Virtual databases – In this type of recovery, SQL Safe Backup tricks SQL Server into thinking the database has been restored while reading data from a backup file to satisfy user requests. 
  • Object-level recovery – This recovery technique is slower than other methods but gives you fine-grained control over the database objects that get restored.
  • Traditional point-in-time restores are also supported by this flexible backup and recovery tool. A graphical slider lets you choose a recovery point and SQL Safe Backup will automatically assemble the necessary components to satisfy your request. 

A short video that presents a hands-on demonstration of the advanced restore capabilities of SQL Safe Backup is available on the IDERA website. It provides an overview of the application to help DBAs become more familiar with the tool before having to use it for a live restore under pressurized circumstances. 

Becoming familiar with your recovery tool is essential for database support teams. Practicing during disaster recovery tests or simply on available machines in the environment will pay real dividends when a real disaster strikes. The experience gained will enable you to rapidly recover the systems with a minimal amount of stress.

There’s no better way for a DBA to shine than to save the day with a speedy and successful database restore. 

Try SQL Safe Backup for free!