Chapter 18. Preparing for Disaster

Whether we like it or not, bad things happen. When I was a new system administrator, an old pro in my office summed this reality up well by offering me this advice: "Don't think of disaster recovery as preparing for if a disaster happens; think of it as preparing for when a disaster happens." Sure, your data center might not be swept away by floodwaters or destroyed by a fire or earthquake. I can, however, guarantee that you will suffer some sort of disaster at some point in the future.

The most common type of disaster you need to prepare for is a system failure caused by faulty hardware, software, or user error. Hard drive failure, for example, is one of the most common problems occurring on production systems. Despite the march of technology, hard drives still rely upon mechanical, fast-moving parts that are prone to failure. Disaster recovery technologies such as RAID arrays and clustering help minimize the impact of such a failure on your environment, but no set of countermeasures can totally eliminate the risk.

Fortunately, SQL Server 2008 includes advanced disaster recovery functionality designed to help you protect your organization's data from the effects of such events. In this chapter, I discuss the use of these technologies to back up and restore your business data.

Backing Up Your Data

The general concept of a backup is simple and probably something you're familiar with from other aspects of computing. Backups involve the creation of a ...

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