Who in your company is responsible for database backups?
Fantastic! Check your backup job. Did it run successfully the last time it was supposed to? Are the files where they are supposed to be? Have you checked the integrity of the backup files by restoring them to a secondary server? If you are in full recovery mode, are you taking both data and log file backups?
It’s Someone Else
Great! Who? I’d like you to walk over to that person’s desk or call them, and ask them the questions listed above. Do they know the backups ran? Do they know where they are stored? Have they tested them?
You’re going to sound like you’re questioning their ability to do their job. You’re going to sound paranoid. You’re going to sound suspicious. Good. You should. This is a task that should regularly be reviewed and challenged, to make sure the processes in place are optimal for your current environment and business needs.
I Don’t Know
If this is your answer, now is the time to panic. The business’s data is the business. A task as important as backups should not be left to chance. This should be a well-documented process with everyone knowing which department or person the responsibility falls to.
If you do a bit of research and find out that backups aren’t being taken, or the job has been failing, or you’re running out of space on servers, consider this an opportunity – not a problem. You get to put on your superdatabasehero cape. Determine which backups need to be taken, and when. Come up with a plan. Present it to your boss. Execute the backups. Monitor the jobs. Restore the databases. Document your process. Make sure people in the company – especially business stakeholders – know that the data is protected, and by whom.
I need to know more about backups!
You’re in luck! The Brent Ozar PLF crew has been advocating for backups for years. Check out Brent’s post on Backup Best Practices. Watch Jeremiah’s Backup to Basics video. Read How to Test Your Backup Strategy by Kendra. You’ll be smarter, and you could be saving your company from a huge disaster.