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Various data recovery methodologies for SQL Server

November 22, 2011  by: Fergal Patton  Points: 12   Category: Software    Views: 690

The various methods for SQL server recovery have been mentioned in this article. They are SQL Server Recovery through Failover Clustering (FC), SQL Server Recovery with Database Mirroring (DM), Peer-to-peer transactional replication method.


A severe data crisis with Microsoft SQL server can certainly halt the growth prospects of an organization. Some of the situations resulting into data crisis are fire, network breakdown, manmade disaster or any other technical disaster. Such crisis can be overcome with a little technical knowhow and right knowledge. I will tell you about some of the best recovery options available for SQL server.

SQL Server Recovery through Failover Clustering (FC)

It is a mechanism to failover automatically in case of a hardware or software failure. With this Kernel for SQL Recovery tool a user can evolve a failover cluster for a single or multiple instances of SQL Server 2000. This process can salvage the SQL data from operating system or upgrade failure. FC has been designed specifically with no server downtime for high server availability.

The following Microsoft platforms support the FC mechanism: Windows NT 4.0, Windows 2000 Advanced Server, Windows 2000 Datacenter Server Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition, Windows Server 2003 and Datacenter Edition. These systems use the Microsoft Cluster Service (MSCS) for deploying the failover clustering for SQL Server.

Disadvantages of FC

1.This process is very expensive
2.It supports only servers in straight line.
3.FC does not retrieve data from disk array failure.
4.Creating failover clusters at database level or database object level is not possible with this method.

SQL Server Recovery with Database Mirroring (DM)

DM is a software design for increasing database availability and it supports those databases that depend upon full recovery model. Unfortunately, simple yet bulk logged models do not support database mirroring.

Disadvantages of Database Mirroring

1.The primary database being recovered through mirroring should be similar to the principal database.
2.The transfer of information between computers in a network can threaten the security.

Peer-to-peer transactional replication method

This method has been specifically devised for the applications (taking part in replications) that can read or modify the data in any database. If any server hosting the databases is not available then it can be modified with an application to route traffic.


1.This method is possible only with SQL Server 2005 Enterprise Edition.
2.The participating databases should have the identical schemas and data.
3.Tables and objects in single publication database cannot be included in transactional replication.
4.Conflict Detection or Conflict Resolution is not possible with this method.

Maintenance of warm standby server

A user can maintain the warm standby server with these methods:
Log shipping: Available with Microsoft SQL Server 7.0, Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Enterprise Edition and Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Developer Edition.


1.The database becomes unusable during the restoration process.
2.It cannot be used to bring or reject the table changes.
3.There is no option available for automatic failover of applications.

Transactional replication: It quickly replicates the data from server (the publisher) to the other with less latency.


1.Schema changes performed at the publisher will not be available at the subscriber.
2.It uses the Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) connection which is nowhere near the performance of Restore Transaction.

Redundant Array of Independent Disks (RAID)

This tool stores the redundant data on multiple disks for delivering greater speed and less downtime.

1.This is a lengthy time taking process.
2.Recovering the data from multiple disks fail is not possible with RAID.

Author Bio

The author is an experienced System Administrator. He has mentioned various methods for SQL Server Recovery like: SQL Server Recovery through Failover Clustering (FC), SQL Recovery with Database Mirroring (DM), Peer-to-peer transactional replication method, Maintenance of warm standby server and Redundant Array of Independent Disks (RAID). For more information visit this site: http://www.sqlserverrecovery.org


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