by Paul Rudo on 31/07/11 at 5:42 pm
Database backups are very different from traditional flat-file backups, and there are a number of important points you should consider when protecting the databases that support your critical systems.
Database Data is More Vulnerable
Because databases typically experience much higher load volumes than other types of data, they are more vulnerable to failure. And a database failure can often have much more serious consequences than failure of types of IT systems.
Database Data is More Complex
Database data is stored as a series of logical data elements. This means that – unlike a simple Word document – a database table might be spread out across many files or locations on the hard drive. In addition to this, all of the elements within a database relate to each other and must be perfectly synchronized. This complexity makes database backups especially difficult, since it’s easy to end up with referential integrity problems.
Database Data is More Critical
Databases are densely-packed with the most important information that a company needs for its daily operations. If your organization loses a GB of word documents, it might cause a nuisance. But losing a GB worth of database tables could spell the end of your business.
Database Data Is Hard To Back Up
Thanks to Microsoft SBS server, now every small company can set up and run their own database servers. But backing up these databases requires special expertise and training. If done improperly, this process can lead to major problems when it comes time to restore.
Databases Read and Write More Frequently
Because databases read and write data more frequently, there is a greater chance that the drives will encounter an error. This means that databases have a higher chance of experiencing hard drive problems than other low-performing servers.
Database Data Must Comply With Legal Requirements
There are a number of legislations – such as HIPAA and SOX404 – which strictly dictate how customer information should be handled and issue severe penalties for companies that fail to comply. Since databases usually store the most sensitive and critical information within a company, they are particularly at-risk.
Databases Must Often Be Running On 24/7 Schedules
Because so many companies now operate on a twenty-four hour schedule, serving clients all over the world, there is now much less tolerance for downtime. This is particularly true of database servers which support the most critical revenue-generating processes for these companies.
Database Data Is Growing Exponentially
Moore’s law predicts that our capacity to consume and produce information will grow at a rate of 50-100 percent per year. And this certainly applies to database data as much as it does to flat files.