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my company developed complex configuration(databases, jobs, maintenance plans, replications) on MS SQL server which is located in customer office. I want to setup some backup strategy for this entire solution(not only databases). Can you please help me with some advices how to start doing this(source control?entire partition backup?,...)?


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Start with documenting everything. Get a good high level overview and then dig into all the details.

Now deceide how quickly you need to have things back up and running. Do you need a hot site? Cold site? Do you just need the data and config or do you need full hardware redundency?

For most of my sql db's there are server images, registry backups and regular sql backups, the sql .bak file is then distributed to an off site server and then backed up to tape overnight.

The details of exactly what you do will depend on what kind of security you require and how quickly you need to restore the systems.

In any case, PLAN TO TEST YOUR BACKUP PLAN. A disaster is a really bad time to find out it didn't work.

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Your backup strategy should be built off of business requirements and SLA (service level agreements). The number one question you have to ask is "how much can I loose, and still function as a business?". This can also be controlled by business/industry standards (HIPPA, PCI, etc) depending on what type of business you support.

Take that question for each aspect of your system and figure out if it got swept away by weather, fire, or theft could you or your customer continue business without it. If they could not then your next step would be to ask, how much data can you loose. With configuration information that should be at most documented somewhere in the event you can't just restore it somehow. You would also need to take into account restore time, the turn around time to get the system back up and running can dictate the backup method you choose.

Just my opinion...

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Your question is quite vague and open ended, but for a starting point you might want to look at Windows Server Backup (here's a handy step-by-step guide from Technet).

If you run this alongside your SQL Server backup strategy, you should have a quite comprehensive solution, but whatever you go for, you definitely want to make sure your recovery plan works.

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What does Windows Backup have to do with MSSQL metadata ? – adaptr Apr 11 '12 at 14:34
It was the comment of "I want to setup some backup strategy for this entire solution (not only databases)" which suggested to me that the OP was after a complete server backup tool, rather than just a DB or SQL specific backup tool. – Bob Apr 11 '12 at 15:11
His comment referred to "complex configuration(databases, jobs, maintenance plans, replications)"; the topic and tag clearly limit the question to SQL Server. – adaptr Apr 11 '12 at 15:13

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