Many partners only specializes in Dynamics NAV and not in hosting. Often the customers have their own servers and are responsible for backups or a partner is responsible for the hosting environment.
What I’m trying to say is that probably many NAV partners haven’t been responsible for SQL backups before and now with putting everything in Azure we are skipping the hosting partner and instead becoming our own hosting partner.
When we do this we need to have a strategy to tackle this new scenario with this blog post and following I would like to share some information from the field on how you can implement different backup strategies.
There are several ways to cover this and I’m going to mention the most obvious ones:
- SQL Backup
- Windows Server Backup
- Azure Backup
- System Center – Data Protection Manager
SQL backups are only taken on SQL databases and you need to have a strategy on how to handle that.
Questions that you need to answer is:
Should the database be in simple mode or should it be in full mode?
The Difference is that with simple mode you can only recover to the latest full backup. If you take a full backup at midnight everyday and the database crashes at 15:00 you will lose 15 hours of data in the database. The customer won’t be so happy when you mention that they have to redo the last 7 hours of work.
With full mode you can take a log backup and depending on settings you won’t lose as much data as simple mode since log backups are taken more often.
How often should the log backup be taken?
Meaning, how much data should you lose if the database crashes? Is it acceptable to lose data from 1 hour or more?
Where should you store the backup files?
Databases can crash of different reasons but one of them is that the physical hardrive crashes or the entire server crashes hence you should save the backup files on another disk and maybe have another file backup on top of that such as off site backups.
How far back should you be able to restore data?
Sometimes user can erase data in a DB and it is not discovered until days later. The only way to repair that is an old backup from just before it happened. This question is a trade-off between history and space since every backup takes up a deal of storage space.
We usually saves 5 full SQL backups and have log backups every hour to days back.
There are plenty of stuff out on the net that describes this. Start by reading Back Up and Restore of SQL Server Databases on msdn.
Next blog post will be about setting up SQL backups.
Windows Server Backup
Quote from the msdn about Windows Server backup.
You can use Windows Server Backup to back up a full server (all volumes), selected volumes, the system state, or specific files or folders—and to create a backup that you can use for bare metal recovery. You can recover volumes, folders, files, certain applications, and the system state. And, in case of disasters like hard disk failures, you can perform a bare metal recovery. (To do this, you will need a backup of the full server or just the volumes that contain operating system files, and the Windows Recovery Environment—this will restore your complete system onto your old system or a new hard disk.)
You can use Windows Server Backup to create and manage backups for the local computer or a remote computer. And, you can schedule backups to run automatically.
Windows Server Backup is intended for use by everyone who needs a basic backup solution—from small business to large enterprises—but is even suited for smaller organizations or individuals who are not IT professionals.
This is the software you need to handle to regular backups. For more information read about Windows Server Backup (Windows server 2008 R2) on msdn.
Azure backup could be your strategy to backup off-site. You install a Azure backup client on your server and from that you choose what you need to backup and the client will upload the files into Azure in a backup vault. The server doesn’t have to be in Azure but could be a server anywhere.
For more information read Azure Backup Overview on msdn.
System Center – Data Protection Manager
From what I understand this is independet server that is a centralized approach to manage backups
Quote form msdn:
System Center 2012 – Data Protection Manager (DPM) enables disk-based and tape-based data protection and recovery for servers such as SQL Server, Exchange Server, SharePoint, virtual servers, file servers, and support for Windows desktops and laptops. DPM can also centrally manage system state and Bare Metal Recovery (BMR).