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Microsoft® SQL Server 2012 Unleashed by Alex T. Silverstein, Chris Gallelli, Paul T. Bertucci, Ray Rankins

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Differential Database Backups

Differential database backups capture changes to any data extent that happened since the last full database backup. The last full database backup is referred to as the differential base and is required to make the differential backup useful. Each data extent that is monitored consists of eight physically contiguous data pages. As changes are made to the pages in an extent, a flag is set to indicate that a change has been made to the extent. When the differential database backup is executed, only those extents that have had pages modified are written to the backup.

Differential database backups can save backup space and improve the overall speed of recovery. The savings in space and time are directly related to the ...

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