Over the past decade, complex business-grade database systems have become significantly cheaper, easier-to-use, and more accessible to small business owners who might not have a deep understanding of database fundamentals.
If a hobbyist understands a bit about computers, it’s easy for them to believe that they don’t need help from a professional database administrator. And that’s perfectly reasonable, since new database platforms are certainly marketed this way, and the available tools also make management feel easy.
But these benefits can turn into drawbacks when these DIY database implementations are used to support applications that are critical to the business. This is particularly true when it comes to implementing a backup and recovery process for database systems.
Unlike conventional flat-file systems, databases have complex data structures and inter-dependencies when it comes to logical data elements.
If an untrained person implements a poorly-planned database backup process that fails to take these issues into account, they might not be able to recover effectively in an emergency.
The recovery of your backups is only as good as your preparation.
As with conventional backups, there are a number of trends which are complicating database backups, and making disaster recovery more challenging. This include things such as
- Exponential Data Growth
- 24/7 Business Requirements
- Changing Regulatory Compliance Obligations
In addition to this, effective database backups must overcome other special challenges such as:</p>
- Databases read and write data more frequently
- Data loss from databases can be more costly than conventional file data loss
- Databases are often extremely complex, and difficult to recover without the help of trained experts or special tools
- Databases are more vulnerable to failure
Although setting up your own internal backup seems to put you squarely in control, leaving this task to the professionals is the far more prudent choice. Simply put,Â it’s better not to cut cornersÂ with a “do it yourself” approach.</p>
For example, there might come a point when a full system recovery or even a bare metal recovery is required. The steps involved fur such a recovery process might involve things like:
- Locating new hardware
- Re-loading the operating system
- Building a new database
- Loading the last full backup
- Loading the incremental backup since the last backup
- Loading the transaction log
If just one of the steps involved in a database backup was processed incorrectly, the entire recovery process could fall apart or be significantly hampered. This is why it’s critical that database backups are performed using a well-planned, air-tight backup process… and that backups are supervised and managed by experienced professionals with proper training in disaster recovery and data protection for databases.
For more information on this topic, we’ve put together a short video.