Creating a Sequence of Transaction Log Backups

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SQL Server
What is the best practices for creating daily (hourly) transcation log backups? Option 1: Create individual jobs for each hour written to individual backup files? Example: log0800am.bak log0900am.bak log1000am.bak so forth Option 2: Create two jobs: (1) first job initiates backup file WITH INIT; (2) second job backups up log hourly to same backup file WITH NOINIT? Example: logHourly.bak @ 8:00am initialized logHourly.bak @ 9:00am appended logHourly.bak @ 10:00am appended again so forth Thanks in advance ...

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My preference would be to go for individual files, whose names include the date and time of the backup. Advantages being:

1. If you look at the backup directory, you can see at a glance which backups you have without having to go to msdb or the Enterprise Manager GUI
2. If you’re short of space in the backup directory, you stand a better chance of freeing enough space to continue, while keeping recent backups on hand in case you need them, if you have a large number of small files rather than a small number of large files.
3. If you have problems with a particular backup, you only affect the one file.

By the way, the Maintenance Plan setup wizard defaults tran log backups to have a .TRN suffix rather than .BAK; you might like to consider something similar to differentiate between your full and tran log backups. If you’re forced into doing a recovery in a hurry, anything which clarifies what you have to work with is good!

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  • MisterMac
    I still think Maint Plans are a pretty good, quick and dirty method with some (not all) flexibility. After all, the wizard simply generates a scheduled job like this: EXECUTE master.dbo.xp_sqlmaint N'-PlanName MyUserDBMaintPlan -Rpt "..someLocalLogPathDBMP--UserDBs_LogBackup.txt" -DelTxtRpt 1WEEKS -WriteHistory -VrfyBackup -BkUpMedia DISK -BkUpLog "F:SQLBACKUP" -DelBkUps 4DAYS -CrBkSubDir -BkExt "TRN"' ... which creates log dumps that look like this: ... MyDB_tlog_200405201700.TRN MyDB_tlog_200405201800.TRN ... However, if you need more flexibility in the naming of the dump file (or other criteria), I'd suggest creating a single proc that's scheduled every hour to do the backups. If it's the first log dump of the day (based on a datediff check with getdate() or perhaps based on a query of the last full backup time), init the backup file; otherwise, append. Good luck...
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