Create a Log Backup Schedule – #1 Skill You Need

This series of blog posts are related to my presentation, The Top Ten Skills You Need, which is scheduled for a few deliveries in 2011.

You Need Log Backups

By default databases in SQL Server are created with the Full Recovery Model. That means that without log backups, the log will continue to grow and grow until it hits the growth limit you’ve set, or it fills the disk. I see questions on this constantly at SQLServerCentral from people who have a 10MB database and a 653GB log file.

A log backup will mark the transactions in the log as backed up, and that space can be re-used. The log backup aids in space management and also provides recovery to points in time in between full backups. With that in mind, you need to do a few things.

Schedule Log Backups

As soon as you create a database, and you create a full backup schedule, schedule log backups as well. It’s easy to schedule a single daily log backup along with your full backup. They don’t block each other, and for most non-production systems, this works fine.

Note that the total space used for the log backups is the same whether you schedule 1 a day or 86,400 a day. There is a slight overhead to each file, but essentially the space used is the same. However backups scheduled more often result in a smaller log files size for the LDF.

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