Grand Canyon Vault, LLC.  (USA)
Offsite Backup Solutions for Windows Servers and Desktops

MS SQL 2008 Backup and SQL 2005 Database Backup Information

Backing up your SQL 2008 / 2005 Database files is an important part of your disaster recovery planning. 

Your Windows Server may be running an SQL Server if you are using database oriented applications, such as accounting software, customer management programs, inventory, sales management, web hosting, etc.

These applications commonly use an SQL-based database engine to store and retrieve their data, and many SQL database engines lock their data while in use.  As a result, you will want to use GCV Backup to include this data in the backup process.

Why do I need a backup program to backup SQL Server database files?

First - SQL locks the database files while the SQL Server is running.  When the database files are locked you cannot simply copy the database files.  Second - SQL can hold transactions in memory; as a result, you need to have a backup program that can interact with SQL to make sure its database files are up-to-date and all transactions are stored to the database files. When the database files are up-to-date, this is referred to as coherent.  Once the SQL database files are coherent they are ready to be backed up. 

What versions of SQL Server can I backup with GCV Backup ?

  • SQL Server 2008
  • SQL Server 2005
  • SQL Server 2000

Can GCV Backup backup MS SQL Server while it is running?

YES!  As long as you are running SQL on Windows 2003 or higher.  GCV Backup interacts with SQL 2008/2005 Server through Volume Shadow Services which is included in Windows 2003 and higher.  The GCV Backup Client interacts with SQL Server to tell SQL to prepare its databases for backup.  This process bring the SQL databases to a coherent state where all transactions are updated into the database files.  Then GCV Backup reads the database files on the disk while SQL is running in order to perform the backup without stopping the SQL 2008 / 2005 Server.

What GCV Backup software do I need to backup my SQL Server and its database files?

No matter what version of Microsoft SQL Server you are using, GCV Backup can back it up.  However, the manner in which the backup is done can vary depending upon the operating system of the server.

You will need to purchase the following software:
(1) GCV Backup Client License with Open File Support built-in: Contact

  • If you are running your SQL Server on Windows Server 2008 or 2003, the Open File Add-On will use the Volume Shadow Service feature of Windows to perform the backup of the SQL database / log files.  Note the open file add-on can also backup Exchange data as well as Active Directory and any other files that may be open at the time of the backup will also be included.
  • If you are running your SQL Server on Windows 2000, there is no Volume Shadow Service feature present inside of Windows.  On Windows 2000 you would need to tell GCV Backup to stop the SQL Server in order to perform the backup.  You can configure the backup sets in GCV Backup to stop services before a backup starts and restart the services when the backup completes.  This would allow the Backup Client to access the SQL database files during the backup.

What do I need to backup to have a complete SQL Server backup?

To make sure you can recover from any type of Server disaster, you need to backup the following elements in your SQL Server environment:

  • All MS SQL 2008 / 2005 Server Database and Log files.
  • A complete backup of the computer running the SQL Server application.

What is meant by "SQL Database and Log files?"

Each SQL database file can have log files.  SQL typically stores transactions in the log files first, then if this process is successful the transaction is stored to the database file.  SQL uses this approach in order to protect the database files.  If there is a problem in the process of storing transactions, the log file can be replayed.  As a result of this design in SQL you will want to include the log files in the backup of your SQL Database files.  We typically recommend to include the entire folder holding the database and log files in the backup process and/or just include the entire drive that holds the SQL data.  This way all files are backed up.

Benefits of Backing Up Your MS SQL 2008/2005 Server Database Files

  • SQL database backup without interruption when using the Open File Add-On
    Backups are performed without stopping the SQL Server service.
  • Revision history
    Choose any date/time to restore the data from.
  • Database level backup
    Entire SQL database included in every backup.
  • Flexible scheduling
    Choose your own convenient backup times.