PASS Summit Unite 2009 Speaker Tip

A common mistake people make when planning a disaster recovery strategy is designing a backup strategy. You may think that sounds strange—of course you have to have backups. But thinking only about what backup to take can lead to problems.

Just because you're taking regular backups doesn’t mean you have the right backups to perform the smallest possible targeted restore operation when recovering from a disaster, thus minimizing downtime.

Consider a 1 TB database with a single data file. If the data file is damaged, the only possible restore is of the entire 1 TB file. However, if the database is partitioned into multiple smaller filegroups, you can perform a piecemeal restore of just the damaged filegroup(s), which will take a lot less time than restoring the whole database. With SQL Server 2005 and 2008 Enterprise Edition, you can use a feature called partial database availability to bring the database online while leaving some filegroups offline, further enhancing availability during disaster recovery.

Read more from Paul about his Nov. 6 PASS Summit 2009 post-conference seminar with Kimberly Tripp, "Disaster Recovery: Tips, Tricks, and Techniques."