Practice Your Restores

December 30, 2009 at 7:35 am (SQL Server 2005, SQL Server 2008, SQLServerPedia Syndication) (, , , , , )

Steven Jones posted an excellent editorial today all about how your backups are only good if you know that you can restore from them. He couldn’t be more correct. I posted the following thoughts in the comments, but I know not everyone reads the comments in articles & editorials. Although, if it’s a good article, you should read the comments, especially on SQL Server Central. Frequently the discussion about the article can be as enlightening as the article itself. But I digress.

Steve’s point, pretty clearly stated but I’ll repeat it, backups don’t matter, restores do. I’m going to pile on to this point just a bit, because it can’t be emphasized enough. Nothing is more important than verifying backups, except, verifying that you know how to run a restore. You’re absolutely right when you say that backups are no good unless you can restore them, but it goes beyond actually validating that the backup files themselves are valid and accessible. You need to know that you, and any other DBA’s in the organization, can actually run a restore, knows how to read the file header, can do a point in time recovery, etc. Practice restoring databases not only validates that the backups are good, but that you’re good as well.

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Training and Learning

August 18, 2008 at 8:06 am (SQL Server 2005, SQL Server 2008, Tools) (, , , )

I think these are usually two different things, but most people conflate the two. There was a great discussion over at SQL Server Central based on an editorial by Steve Jones. It’s worth reading through to see how people learn or get themselves trained.

One common theme is reading books. I’m looking at stacks of them all over my desk, so it would be hard to deny their use. If you too like to read, then I’ve got something for you. Red Gate is doing a promotion where, when you purchase SQL Tool Belt, you can also download five E-Books offered by Apress. Several of them look pretty interesting, so this is a good deal. Not to mention, if you’re not using some of the tools from SQL Tool Belt already, you’re in for a treat. SQL Compare and SQL Prompt must be open on my desktop most days and I use several of  the other tools every week. Get a good book and check out the great tools.

Updated to accurately reflect the offer.

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