BI Archive

1.5TB MSSQL2k8r2 with 2years of sales data.  

We want to do a one time back up and restore of the entire database to a (read only) BI database. Then maintain only 6 months of data in our production environment, with data older than 6 months being archived in a (read only) BI database.

How would you recommend to setup the daily differential updates for new entries from Production db to BI db, only backing up the Inserts and updates and not the delete statements. Then delete the copied data from production db.
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SleepydogAsked:
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Phillip BurtonDirector, Practice Manager and Computing ConsultantCommented:
Have you considered partition switching?

Maybe see this previous answer: http://www.experts-exchange.com/Database/MS-SQL-Server/SQL-Server-2005/Q_28297008.html
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Phillip BurtonDirector, Practice Manager and Computing ConsultantCommented:
and this one: http://www.experts-exchange.com/Database/MS-SQL-Server/Q_28412426.html

Basically, you use the ALTER TABLE SWITCH statement.

Or am I missing the point of the question?
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Scott PletcherSenior DBACommented:
The BI database should use "SET READ_COMMITTED_SNAPSHOT ON".  That will prevent readers from being locked out while the data is being updated and prevent inconsistent reads.

Is your existing sales table clustered on sales date?  [It almost certainly isn't, and almost certainly should be.]

If not, you'll need to create a nonclustered index on sales date.  When it's time to move the data for the next day:
1) BEGIN TRANSACTION
2) copy a full 24 hours of data [or perhaps more if previous data copy(ies) had error] -- midnight of one day to less than midnight of the next day -- from 6 months ago to the BI db
3) confirm that all rows have been successfully copied to the BI db
4) delete rows from the source db
5) COMMIT TRANSACTION

Because of the snapshot isolation, users will be able to read the BI database even as data is being loaded to it: of course they won't see that data until it is committed, but they can read other data with no interference from data being loaded.
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SleepydogAuthor Commented:
ScottPletcher- The Software vendor setup the database 2years ago and no one has touched it since. About a year ago we hired a DBA and his manager told him not to touch the database (you break it, you bought it mentality).

Phillip Burton - Altering the production tables is not an option.
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Scott PletcherSenior DBACommented:
OK, that provides some background, but it doesn't answer these qs:

Is your existing sales table clustered on sales date?

If not, can you create a nonclustered index on sales date?

If you can't even add a nonclustered index, I don't know how you're reasonably quickly going to pull each day's data to archive it as it reaches the threshold date, 6 mos or whatever it is.
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Phillip BurtonDirector, Practice Manager and Computing ConsultantCommented:
At least you can use the partition switching to import the new data into the (read only) BI database, which will speed to importing up.

As for the export, if you have to use kid gloves and go carefully, so be it - Scott's answer for that bit is a good one.
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Vitor MontalvãoMSSQL Senior EngineerCommented:
we hired a DBA and his manager told him not to touch the database (you break it, you bought it mentality).
The worst nightmare for a DBA, but I've been there and did that already. He can't change the schema but he can touch the data, right?
I personally like the partition idea but if you can't do that then I recommend to implement a Snapshot Replication. Mind that this solution is not good for very large databases since kills the performance. Do you want to backup all data or some tables only?
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SleepydogAuthor Commented:
Vitor Montalvão - The business can't decide what data is important at this point so they want the entire Database backed up.
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Vitor MontalvãoMSSQL Senior EngineerCommented:
Well, the business can't decide what data is important and a DBA can't touch the database. So, you are running out of options here.
How big is the database?
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Scott PletcherSenior DBACommented:
>> At least you can use the partition switching to import the new data into the (read only) BI database, which will speed to importing up. <<

I don't see how that would even be possible.  Partition switches must be within the same filegroup.  How, then, could you possibly do partition switching between different dbs??
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Phillip BurtonDirector, Practice Manager and Computing ConsultantCommented:
Please correct me if I'm wrong, but:

1. In Source DB, create another table (Table 2) in Source DB to switch into,
2. Partition Switch into Table 2 in Source DB.
3. Use SSIS to export that into the Target DB into Table 2.
4. Partition Switch into Table in Target DB.

Obviously, not in this case if he can't touch the Source DB.
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Scott PletcherSenior DBACommented:
Theoretically I guess.  To me that's far more difficult than simply copying the data directly to a standard staging table or directly to the BI table with snapshot on.  Why get involved with hundreds/thousands of partitions?
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Phillip BurtonDirector, Practice Manager and Computing ConsultantCommented:
Because if it's a partition per day, then it may make queries quicker?
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