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SQL Server Disaster Recovery

SQL Server Disaster Recovery Considerations

by Maggie Getova

SQL Server is a relational database management system utilized by a lot of businesses and organizations. Like any other critical part of a business, it needs to be protected in the event of a disaster in order to keep operations running with minimal disruption. So which factors should you consider for your SQL Server disaster recovery plan?


SQL Server Considerations

When it comes to backing up SQL server to the cloud, it’s important that the backup is able to capture both the database files and transaction logs. The database file contains the business-critical data while the transaction log contains the operations performed on the database, and is important to being able to recover the database in the event of a disaster. 

It’s important to have the option to either restore the whole system of many databases or an individual database, depending on what you need. That way if a single database becomes corrupted, you can just recover the one database instead of the whole system. This will help avoid spending unnecessary time in recovering your data and getting back to business.


Bandwidth, RTO and RPO

Any time you have to transfer large datasets to the cloud, bandwidth is critical – whether you’re backing up your SQL server, your file systems or server images. That’s why it’s important that you have sufficient bandwidth to send your data to the cloud and recover it from the cloud as you need it.

This is where considering your Recovery Time Objectives (RTO) and your Recovery Point Objectives (RPO) comes into play. Your RTO is how long you can afford to be without your data, while your RPO is the amount of data you can afford to lose in the event of a disaster. Having sufficient bandwidth to transfer your data to the cloud for recovery in the event of a disaster is critical to your SQL server disaster recovery strategy. Databases can experience significant data change rates requiring a significant amount of data to be transferred to the cloud during a backup. Having a cloud backup solution which is WAN optimized helps ensure the efficient transfer of data to the cloud over the available bandwidth in a timely manner.

Zetta offers a plugin to enables customers to protect one or more SQL Server databases to the cloud. The plugin scans the server looking for the database files and transaction logs, and securely transfers the data to the cloud. When subsequent backup operations are performed, only the changed data is transferred to the cloud. In the event of a disaster, one or more of the databases can be restored by retrieving the data from the cloud.

Zetta also enables customers to protect the entire SQL Server machine by performing a Windows image backup. A Windows image backup captures the whole system along with the associated databases running on the system, and securely transfers the data to the cloud. Subsequent Windows image backups of the SQL Server machine result in only the changed data being transferred to the cloud.


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SQL Server has some special consideration when it comes to disaster recovery planning. But if the cloud is part of your disaster recovery strategy, having sufficient bandwidth is key to fast backup and recovery, no matter what type of server your data lives on.

Maggie G

Maggie is a content writer and editor at Zetta. She writes for the blog and manages web content.