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Microsoft® SQL Server® 2008 Internals by Paul Randal Kalen Delaney Kimberly Tripp, and Conor Cunningham

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Database Snapshots

An interesting feature added to the product in SQL Server 2005 Enterprise Edition is database snapshots, which allow you to create a point-in-time, read-only copy of any database. In fact, you can create multiple snapshots of the same source database at different points in time. The actual space needed for each snapshot is typically much less than the space required for the original database because the snapshot stores only pages that have changed, as will be discussed shortly.

Database snapshots allow you to do the following:

  • Turn a database mirror into a reporting server. (You cannot read from a database mirror, but you can create a snapshot of the mirror and read from that.)

  • Generate reports without blocking or being blocked ...

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