24 September 2012

Nice Fluffy Backups, But Where's the Restore?

I am shirking tradition (as I am wont) (indeed, I am wonter than most) in abandoning my obstinate refusal to provide post titles.  There is a tide in the affairs of men, which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune, and such tide apparently entails providing handy titles to blog posts (not nearly so laden with euphemism as you might assume).

Call me a sys admin by trade, and a DBA at heart...since 2005 I've been the de facto DBA for the companies I've worked for (which were small enough to not justify a full time DBA), and I have a bit of a maturing interest/passion for SQL Server.  This morning, spurred on by an excellent article over at SQL Server Central, I was beset with enough worry and consternation that I decided to test my backups.  The whole concept of a backup is a healthy lack of trust.  You take backups because you cannot trust that your data will survive in its data file containers...threatened either by data corruption, user malfeasance, or actual catastrophic happenings in the datacenter.  If you trusted your database, you wouldn't bother with backups, there would be no need for them.  So you take your regular full backups and constant log backups, like a good DBA ought.

Here's where so many of us, myself included, cast aside our mistrust and skepticism and become a rabble of dumbly trusting, credulous gits.  We require confirmation that backups are taken, but we trust that they were taken properly and can be restored without corruption.  Backup files are just another cog in the machine that can fail.  Any component can fail, and we must plan for any type of failure.  Simply trusting that once SQL Server Agent flashes us the A-OK sign after taking backups, that we are guaranteed the safety and security of our data, is not enough.

Couple o' links:

Referenced article: The Importance of Validating Backups

And the Mighty Ola Hallengren's db maintenance scripts:  http://ola.hallengren.com/

Also, managed to snag a new (used) sitar the other day, a 7 year old Shrishti model that was worked over by the inimitable Tony Karasek with a new delrin bridge.  Has a great strong sound on the baaj, and the chikaris have a very clean, closed jawari tone to them.  Was originally kharaj pancham but I've restrung it to gandhar pancham.

And that's it for this week.  Toodle pip!

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