Special Alert! Image backups with Solomon Data create a SUSPECT database

Image and internet backups are gaining popularity but be warned that Solomon data is stored in SQL and requires special handling to insure you can restore the data when you need it.

Here is the basic problem, SQL databases are designed for speed and access by many people at the same time.  To accommodate that speed and insure data integrity the SQL database uses a master and log file structure.  Data is first written to the log file and when the processor has extra time, it commits the data from the log file to the master file.  The data is tested to insure it is properly written to the master database and then the log and master files are synchronized.  This entire process often happens in milliseconds but can take longer depending how busy the server is at the time.  The synchronization is critical for the data integrity.  In addition, the log file continues to grow and occasionally needs to be reset with a SQL maintenance plan.  The maintenance plan insures both the master and log files are healthy and then reduces the log file to a minimum size for optimum speed.  The log file grows rapidly and in some instances can fill up the server hard drives.  A full hard drive can corrupt your information or even crash the server.  Proper maintenance is critical!

This time delay between the master and log files is the problem with image backups.  In the time it takes to image the master file, the log file changes slightly.  If you have to restore from the image, SQL knows that the two files are not in sync.  Several extra steps are required to restore/attach the database with the possibility of corrupted data.  Often the database can be repaired but time and money are wasted by that point.  Why take that risk?

If you are buying a new backup solution, I would first encourage you to talk to our team here at AccuNet about how to select a strong backup plan or even a disaster recovery plan. 

Questions to ask when selecting a backup solution:

Is the backup solution aware of SQL?

Is their additional cost for the backup system to manage SQL files during backup?

For further questions, Please contact Michael Milligan at 614-899-9900 ext. 119 mmilligan@accu.com


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