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Where Should You Back Up Your Databases?

You can back up your databases to disk, tape, a network drive, or a Named Pipe. Tape is most people's preferred media but has some significant limitations, not the least of which is speed. Backups to disk are usually the fastest. An alternative is to back up your database to another server's disk over the network. You should back up your disk backups to tape, whether those disk backups are to a local disk or to another server's disk. A typical scenario might be to back up to a network server over a fast network connection (100MB Ethernet, ATM, and so on) and then use Windows 2000's built-in backup program to back up the backup devices or files. An alternative is to purchase a third-party backup utility (which might or might not use the Named Pipe option). Most major brands of backup utilities include an add-in to back up SQL Server databases.

As tape speeds increase, they become the preferred media for backups. The limitation for SQL Server backups (in terms of speed) is typically the speed of the tape drives, not the speed of SQL Server.

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