In this article we will give you some basic and introductory information about SQL Server Backup files and process. We will try to condense the essential information you need to know in the answers of three basic and most common questions.
What is a SQL Server backup?
This is our first and logical question when you’ve just heard about a backup. The answer is quite simple.
A SQL Server backup is a the process of creating a file, called a backup file, of a SQL Server database. This file will contain the information in the database, and actually it is just a copy of the data from the database.
Just like you create copies of important files and store them on external HDD or on USB flash drives in order not to lose them, creating a backup of a database is the same process of saving the contents of a database in a file which you should store on a different physical drive.
Why should you create a SQL Server backup?
If you want to keep your data safe and be protected against any unexpected disaster situation (either a natural disaster or a failure of your database server’s drive or entire machine), then creating a backup is the way.
Backups can also be used to rollback to earlier versions of your data, in case accidental deletion of some information, not only in situations where all of your data is lost.
Viruses, natural disasters or theft are some of the dangers that your data is vulnerable to. It is better to be prepared and thus avoid the entire range of dangers.
How do you create a SQL Server backup?
Before getting into how you make a SQL Server backup, you should know that there are different types of approaches to this. Depending on how big your database is, what is the rate at which new data is inserted and other factors you should choose a Recovery Model.
Based on the Recovery Model that you have chosen, you will have to make different types of database backups. You can find an article detailing the most usual types of backups, here.
After you’ve chosen the Recovery Model and you know what type of database backup you have to perform, you have multiple options to do this, either from T-SQL (Transact-SQL, Microsoft’s dialect of SQL) command line or from SSMS (SQL Server Management Studio, Microsoft’s application to manage databases).
You can also find in our SQL Server Backup and Restore article the queries you need to run in SSMS or command line to create backups.