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How Often Should You Back Up Your Databases?

The answer to the question of how often you should back up depends on the size of your database and how quickly you want the recovery process to run. For databases smaller than a few gigabytes in size, the answer is usually a full database backup daily, with transaction log backups at some point during the day. At a minimum, you should back up your databases weekly, with at least daily transaction log backups. You'll examine shortly the special considerations for system databases.

As a database grows significantly larger, you might not have enough time to fully back it up daily. However, as tape drives become faster (or you take advantage of parallel backups), this limitation might disappear. Again, the SQL Server 2000 software typically isn't the limitation on the speed of your backups.

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