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SQL Server - Separate Database for Reports

Posted on 2013-05-17
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Last Modified: 2013-06-21
What are the advantages and disdvantage to having any reports/queries running against a (very recent) copy of your production database rather than the actual production database?  

Obviously, the data in the copy/report database will be slightly old.  But what else?  Is this a good practice?

Thanks In Advance,

- Michael
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Question by:mjs082969
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Jim Horn earned 250 total points
ID: 39175293
Big advantage:  Activity generated from running reports does not interfere with production users.   Especially if in addition to reports there is a lot of ETL jobs to set output files to clients.

Time required to pull this off:  Scheduled backups, dropping old reporting databases before a restore, setting everyone's expectations about outages and when what data will be made available on the reporting databases.

Disadvantage:  Space and management, but memory is cheap.   You'll also have to figure out how to handle transactions that have begun but have not been committed at the time of the backup.

>'slightly old'.
You'll need to spell out what the client feels is acceptable timing for reports.  Does yesterday at midnight work?  Monthly?  Hourly?
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by:Anthony Perkins
ID: 39176513
And even space is not a problem if you use a database snapshot.
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by:mjs082969
ID: 39184991
I have not used database snapshots extensively.  Can I ask how much space they normally take, in comparison to a copy of the database?  50%?
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by:Anthony Perkins
Anthony Perkins earned 250 total points
ID: 39185837
Can I ask how much space they normally take, in comparison to a copy of the database?  50%?
Initially less than 1%.
I would suggest you start by reading Tim's blog on the subject:
Capture the reporting benefits of database snapshots in SQL Server 2005
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