Readers Talk About SQL Server Backup and Tuning

Executive Summary:

Enter text for Executive Summary here (WIN/SQL): readers share their thoughts about SQL Server backup best practices and whether database tuning will become obsolete as a result of performance-boosting technologies.

Backup Tips

We’ve seen some interesting reader comments on recent articles about SQL Server backup. On Michael Otey’s “SQL Server Backup Best Practices,” InstantDoc ID 100039, andrewn2008 responded with his own backup best practices. “Doing fulls \[full backups\] daily limits your ability to restore via multi-days…. Do a full once a week. Do diffs between that time whatever the business needs decides. You'll see your diff backups are much smaller. If you have an error, backup the tranlogs and go from there. If you need to restore, you've got a lot of choices….”

Reader dwmolek liked Bill McEvoy’s sp_ShowBackups procedure, which generates an easy-to-read report of recent database backups (see “Take the Drudgery Out of Making Sure Your Databases Are Being Backed Up Properly,” InstantDoc ID 98570). “This is a good idea. I have been setting up e-mail notification for each back up job. This one stop shop may be very helpful.” What about you—what backup pet peeves or helpful tips would you like to see covered in SQL Server Magazine? Email SQL Mag editors Megan Keller ([email protected]) or Sheila Molnar ([email protected]) and let them know.

Database Tuning… the Conversation Continues

In her September 4, 2008, column, “Will Database Tuning Become Obsolete?” InstantDoc ID 100181, Kalen Delaney asks whether database tuning and query optimization will be necessary, given the adoption of solid-state disk (SSD) and other technologies that push system performance to unheard-of levels. Some readers said that tuning will always matter, even if technology enables queries to perform faster. For example, “Tuning will always matter when the companies’ profits are tied to the amount of transactions that occur on the server, and scalability in terms of DB size and \[number\] of users is the goal,” mudluck said. thomasam agrees: “While the time it takes to run large queries will dramatically improve, there are still issues, primarily memory usage, that will still need proper attention.”

Other readers said that hardware performance improvements will indeed make tuning and query design less important. DBAFlash said, “Now all we do is shove as much memory in the box as we can and not worry about performance tuning our code. Our .Net developers don't \[even\] know what performance tuning is... perhaps it will be the same for database developers in a few years.” And from sqlmaniac: “Yes, with SSD, for 90% of the database world run in small to medium size shops with small to medium size databases, any performance problems will all but disappear. SQL Server is virtually self-tuning in these small environments…. The other 10% know the real value of seasoned DBA who knows how to really ‘tune’ a db and ‘that’ will never be replaced by faster hardware.” Check out the rest of the comments on Kalen’s article, and add your thoughts to the mix.

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