This morning I had a conversation with a Subject Matter Expert and Application Administrator who asked me quite simply for a verified backup before he does an install on Saturday. My response was that I could test it manually for them and I was willing to do so but currently with our infrastructure the nightly backups are not tested without manual intervention. I have tried to change this policy for some time and unfortunately it may not occur until something bad happens. With this in mind, I do the best I can to minimize the risk given that I cannot automate a solution to restore databases on a regular basis as I would prefer. How can you minimize the risk?
- Use the WITH CHECKSUM option on your backup scripts. Read Paul Randall’s The Importance of Validating Backups article on SQL Server Central for more information.
- Use the RESTORE VERIFYONLY command (although we use Ola Hallengren’s Backup Solution which is the verify option which runs the command).
- Use the WITH CHECKSUM on the RESTORE command to recheck the page checksums in the backup as well as the backup file.
- Automate or manually restore your databases from scratch on a regular basis. (This is where we are lacking and where I want to take my servers).
- Once you have restored, then run DBCC CHECKDB against the restored database.
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