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Backup Considerations

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Perhaps the most important but least glamorous aspect of supporting a relational database is backup and recovery. No matter how much work you do to make your database secure and your data available, data protection is the most critical aspect of your job.

Perhaps the most important but least glamorous aspect of supporting a relational database is backup and recovery. No matter how much work you do to make your database secure and your data available, data protection is the most critical aspect of your job.

You should consider many questions when performing backups. How often should you back up your databases? Which databases should you back up? Where should you back them up to? How long should your backups be kept? Who's responsible for the backups, and how will you verify that they are good backups? Now examine these questions one at a time, starting with who's responsible.

Who's Responsible for the Backups?

I like to say, "If it's not someone's problem, it won't get done." When it comes to talking about backups, this statement is especially true. Backups are, well, boring. When it comes to glamour, this isn't it. It takes a lot of work to properly set up backups and test them regularly. Backup responsibility might very well fall on the database administrator or systems administrator. It's also entirely possible that the network administrator will want to help perform backups. Ultimately, however, the important point is that they be someone's responsibility and that they are performed.

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