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SQL 2005 mirror or log shipping?

Posted on 2007-11-16
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Last Modified: 2009-01-26
Having trouble, lots, doing a SQL 2005 backup job from one W2003 server to another, secondary W2003 server with ~3GB of data.  The secondary server is simply for DR and will not be used unless the primary server fails.

I think either mirroring or logshipping would achieve the desired result.  I'm inclined to pick the least complex implementation & operation solution.  Maybe there are others worth considering?

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Question by:jbriley3
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by:AustinSeven
ID: 20299926
It depends on your business requirements - ie. how much data loss can be tollerated.   Most organisations can tollerate a little dataloss when it comes down to it.   If some data loss (eg. up to 15 mintues worth) can be tollerated, you can refresh your DR server with simple database restores of the daily full backup from production and then, if necessary, roll forward from transaction logs.   We do this ourselves at the moment and it is simple.    We have a lot of databases ranging in size from 1Gb to 10Gb and their backups all get copied to the DR server and schedule restore job takes care of everything for me.   Having done several DR tests that replicate the main site being offline, I can say it works!

SQL Server 2005 has db mirroring and this is worth looking at.  I haven't used it yet.   There is also the new option to mirror backups... duplicating the backup to another location as you're doing the backup.  This is interesting because you could duplicate one of the backup mirrors to your DR server and have an automated restore job.   Copy over transaction log backups periodically to your DR server/site throughout the day to ensure that you can roll forward if necesary.

Log Shipping is a maybe.   If you find you can get it working without too much pain, it might be worth using.  

Replication could be used but is too complex for most DR requirements - in my opinion.

AustinSeven
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by:jbriley3
ID: 20300128
Forgot to mention that your approach was our first choice.  The backup to the DR server happens at night over a point-to-point T1.  In testing, have had so much trouble of various kinds with this that I'm considering other options.  During the work day this point-to-point T1 carries routine LAN traffic from a low volume remote site.

We can tolerate the short term data loss you refer to.  I'm mostly interested in hearing about the difficulty of implementing and running either logshipping or mirroring.
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Eugene Z earned 750 total points
ID: 20300225
depends - how often the second needs to be refreshed
where is located (from network slowness point of view), etc:


Database Mirroring and Log Shipping
http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms187016.aspx


<difficulty of implementing and running either logshipping or mirroring. >
it is not difficult :

Database Mirroring in SQL Server 2005
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/sql/2005/dbmirror.mspx

Configuring Log Shipping
http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms188698.aspx
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Expert Comment

by:leos_
ID: 23560969
We just set up basic mirroring, and I actually think it was easier than scheduling mirrored backups + restore.  The important thing for mirroring though, is the two servers have a fast connection, so the mirror is always up to date.  I'm not sure if the principle server would lag, it doesn't in our situation.  Still haven't figured out how to get the mirror into primary mode, but it is suppose to be easy.  We did this setup without a witness server (which automatically helps change DR machine to live)
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