Backup and recovery operations are the focus of business continuity and data protection plans and often the main source of anxiety for IT departments. Few businesses are fully satisfied with their backup and recovery solutions. Not only must data be protected from complete site failures, such as those resulting from natural disasters, data must also be protected from corruption or data loss such as that resulting from a computer virus or human error.

SQL Server® full database backup is the foundation for every DBA’s data protection plan. In most cases full backup is performed daily, and backup of transaction logs is completed multiple times through the day. SQL Server supports online backups, allowing end users and SQL Server jobs to be active while the backup operation occurs. Even so, large databases can take long time to backup. Incremental and differential backups provide a mechanism to reduce backup processing time and impact on system performance, however, the restore process can still be time-consuming and complex.