Optimizing Database Restores

SQL Server Best Practices
SQL Server Best Practices
You can Google/Bing/AltaVista and get a lot of results for speeding up your backups. Those results will include using third-party tools, performing file and filegroup backups, differential backups and the like. Some of the more technical blogs will talk about adjusting some of the backup parameters to improve throughput.

There’s really not much written (that I’ve found, please add comments with links to posts you’ve found) that talks about tuning database restores.

I started messing with some restore parameters last week and found that it’s possible to make some dramatic performance improvements.

How this started

We were performing a data center migration at work. As a part of this migration we were going from SQL 2000 to SQL 2008R2 for some of our databases.

The database, we’ll call MyDB, is 620GB in size. There are 5 data files and a single log file. Current backups are performed using Snap technology, which wasn’t going to help us with performing a migration as we needed to get the data over and setup log shipping, so we needed to perform a regular backup.

Third party tools were not an option as this SQL instance was running SP3a and we weren’t able to find anything that would work below SP4.

A full backup was taken to local disk, it took a little over 9 hours (server and disk limitations prevented any work to try and improve that).

The backup file was transferred to a USB drive, taken to the new datacenter and copied over to a CIFS share where it would be available for performing restores.

Hardware/software setup

It’s going to help to have an idea of the configuration that’s being used here.

Continue reading on SirSQL.net.

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