A vital part of ensuring business continuity is the ability to restore or recover databases from valid backups in the event of failure. A backup is a copy of data from your database that can be used to reconstruct that data. Backup integrity and restorations are important to protecting your valuable data. One of the main responsibilities of a database administrator (DBA) is to prepare for the possibility of media, hardware and software failure as well as to recover databases during a disaster. Should any of these failures occur, the major objective is to ensure that the database is available to users within an acceptable time period, while ensuring that there is no loss of data.
A good DBA or DBA team should:
Database backups can be generally be divided into physical backups and logical backups. Physical backups are backups of the physical files used in storing and recovering your database, such as datafiles, control files, and archived redo logs. Ultimately, every physical backup is a copy of files storing database information to some other location, whether on disk or some offline storage such as tape. Physical database backups are the foundation of any sound database recovery and backup strategy.
Logical database backups contain logical data (for example, tables or stored procedures) exported from a database with a database utility and usually stored in a binary file, for later re-importing. Logical backups are a useful supplement to physical backups in many circumstances but are not sufficient protection against data loss without physical backups.
The primary responsibility of the database administration team is to review all types of RDBMSs in the enterprise and to develop a comprehensive backup plan to conduct effective backup management by proactively monitoring backups, getting alerted for failed backups and rerunning these seamlessly, without loss of time. It is good practice to back up data to physical disk and to then archive the data to tape for disaster recovery purposes.
Most businesses will need to also implement a database disaster recovery (DR) strategy. This requires replicating databases between multiple data centers in different geographic areas. Database replication usually involves some sort of 'log shipping' process which delivers database transaction logs to the standby recovery location and then applies those logs to the standby database. This keeps the databases in sync and ensures that you have up-to-date copies of everything in your database in both locations. Should the primary data center become unavailable for whatever reason, you can 'failover' or 'switch-over' to the standby location and your database can continue with little to no loss of continuity. There are many different options available when deciding upon a database recovery plan. The important factors are ensure that your database recovery plan is viable, tested and guarantees that your operations will continue with as little interruption as possible in the event of an unforseen failure of hardware, software, power or natural disaster.
Whatever type of database system you are using, be sure to have a comprehensive database backup and database recovery plan in place. Contact Parthian Systems to get your Backup and Recovery plan started today!