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SQL Server 2008  - What is incremental backups in SQL2K8?

Posted on 2013-01-23
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is appending to the existing backup an incremental backup?

How can I backup daily to a single file and revert to a given day?
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Question by:JElster
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Steve Wales earned 295 total points
ID: 38810630
No, appending to an existing backup is not an incremental backup.

I could go into detail here, but the types of backups and examples of how they work are well covered in the documentation.

I would suggest you read the following:
Backup Overview: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms175477.aspx
Full Database Backups: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms186289.aspx
Backup and Restore of SQL Server Databases: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms187048.aspx
Transaction Log Backups: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms191429.aspx

The type of backup has nothing to do with the file you back up the database to.  The type of backup is based upon how you backup that database.

A full database backs up the whole database
An incremental backup takes a backup of changes since the last full database backup

If you want to get down to the nitty gritty, there is no concept of a differential backup in SQL Server.  The closest thing to it would be transaction log backups.

So, in brief, we have:

Full: Complete backup
Incremental: Changes since last full
Transaction Log: Changes recorded in the transaction log since last transaction log backup
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