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I'm considering using this tool to compress my backups. I'm looking to speed up the backup and restore process, more than to save disk space. Have you used it? If so:

  1. How did it go? Any particularly good or bad things about it?
  2. If you've also used one of the paid-for backup compression tools, do you think I'd get something extra for the money?

(Please remember, in the short term, I'm really only looking to speed up the process. I'm using 2005 Workgroup Edition)

Thanks.

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3 Answers 3

You mentioned that you want to use the tool to speed up your backup/restore process more than to save disk space.

The problem I see with this is that it takes TIME to compress/decompress files.

So the BIG question is... where are you storing your backups and (if you're storing on a separate server) how fast is the network connection between the two machines?

Think of it this way. I can typically back up (read: copy) a bunch of files to a second SATA drive on the same machine WAY faster than I can COMPRESS/ZIP those same files and then copy them over and unzip them.

BUT... if I'm backing up or copying to a 2nd server over a slow connection... then it might actually be more efficient to use the computer's CPU to compress/zip the files before I send them over the net... especially if I can get high compression.

Backup/Restore of MS SQL has always been a fairly long and slow process for me when the databases are a decent size. I don't think compressing them ahead of time (only to decompress later) is going to help much.

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The thing is, this type of product actually does the backup. It's not about compressing a backup file. It compresses the data in memory and then writes to the file. So you're trading extra CPU for less disk I/O, resulting in a faster backup and a faster restore. –  David Wimbush Jul 10 '09 at 7:45
up vote 0 down vote accepted

NB: The Freeware Edition has since been discontinued so forget it.

I've been doing some testing and here's what I found:

  • Full and log backups and restores run in between 30%-50% of the native backup.
  • The backup files are between 10%-30% of the size of native backup files.

I'm using their extended stored procs for log shipping and there are a couple of things I've have to work around:

  1. If you're restoring a database in standby mode and you want to keep it that way, the @undofile must not contain spaces. Idera have raised a bug about this.
  2. There's no way to put a database into standby mode with their backup proc. I've had to stick to BACKUP DATABASE ... WITH STANDBY for this. Idera have raised a feature request.

I've been impressed with their response to my questions, especially as it's a giveaway product.

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I just started using it and I have to say I am impressed. The speed is pretty darned good, and the compression is also pretty darned good. I backup to a local raid 6 array and I am getting around 100 mbytes / second backup speeds and around 30-40% file size (vs original db size). I have a quad core with 16 gigs RAM so I have the horsepower to do this.

And it's free! Pretty cool in my book.

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