Evaluation On SQL Server Database Backup Retention Periods


Introduction

SQL Server is a database management system with the primary aim of storing and retrieving data from the databases. The data stored in the database are not safe always, can be lost either due to virus infection, bad sector in the hard drive, etc. So, a backup of the files in the database are mentioned. The SQL Server also supports the backup by enabling the retention periods for saving the data from deletion. If the backup is all set right, one can get back the lost file. But, if the backup is not in the stage of restoring then, all hopes will be lost. Backup is mandatory in organization level since the information is of great use. In large organizations, backups are taken every-day, on every week or months and implements SQL Server database backup retention periods along with disaster recovery plans.

How to Setup SQL Server Database Backup Retention Periods?

If the retention period is set for 10 days, does it mean that backup data cannot be deleted by any one in between 10 days? What is the retention period? Retention period is the time setup till which the backup data cannot be deleted. By default the retention period is 0 days. The user can select the days in between 0 to 365 days. How to setup SQL Server database backup retention periods?

To setup the period;

  • Right click the server and select the Properties
  • Choose Database Settings.
  • In Backup/restore, type the needed days in the “default backup media retention” box.

Let’s have a look at the backup retention situations. The situations are;

  • Legal Requirements
  • Recovery Reasons
  • Best Practices

Legal Requirements

Large organizations or the enterprises require keeping the backups for their works to progress as well as for some legal matters. The organization will have to depend on the old data for some purposes, so; availability of the data in the backup is required. Sometimes if something went wrong in the business field, then, firstly backup data will be viewed. And if, any legal matters happens the supervisors will check the backup data only. For the hard drive, tapes, disks, etc. backup should be done, if in case of any loss to the data in the tapes, drives, etc.

Recovery Reasons

The backup is usually taken for the recovery of the files, if some issues occur later. The data files can get corrupted because of the virus attack, malware infection, dirty shutdown of the system, hardware failure, bad sector in the hard drive sector, etc. Other reason that adds to the need of recovery is the failure of the database, server down, site down, etc. when such situation arises; the only solution is to depend on the backup files and to set the retention periods, for preserving the data from deletion.

Best Practices

Backup of the database files are unavoidable and are of great use when the recovery of the files is to be done during damage. Both the backup and recovery plans should be done for the database. You can write down scripts and plans for the recovery, if the time is sufficiently available. Else, there are recovery tools available in the market which will guide you to the recovery of files from damage, even the deleted or lost backup files can be recovered with the help of the software.

For SQL Server backup;

  • Prepare a full backup schedule for daily, weekly or monthly.
  • Integrate backups to the plans for more recovery points.
  • For additional points, consider transactional logs.

For SQL Recovery plans;

  • Check for the recovery points and database location.
  • Determine if the hardware and the software will support the restoration process.
  • Evaluate SQL server instances and then validate the restoring process.

Backup Storage;

  • Maintain the data in RAID protected drives.
  • Copy the data hard drives, disks, etc. for the recovery of data when lost.

Third Party;

For the recovery of the database files, there is software available in the market. If the backup files are to be recovered then, you will find many tools for the retaining of the backup files as well. The third party tool can be of more useful when the time as well as the efficiency is considered. All the data will be restored without the loss of the data.

Conclusion

The backup process needs to be done carefully and in a perfect manner. You should make sure that the retention period is mentioned properly and the recovery plans are maintained. The backing up of the database file can help you with further legal procedure, if comes in the way. Continuous evaluation on the backup taken is necessary for saving the data from loss.

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