SQL Native Backup with compression – Can I really consider it for large databases (VLDB)?

A very interesting discussion among various DBA can be seen about the efficiency of using native backup technologies in gigantic production environments (VLDB spanning in multiple TB). Prior to SQL 2008, native backup technologies was not a good candidate for backing up such big databases as it used to take unrealistic amount of space and time.

However with the backup compression of SQL 2008, this era is now changing. We can utilize native backup technologies now in more and more cases instead of buying expensive third party licenses.

My personal experiments showed a significant improvement in SQL Server native backup if we use compression (It is almost as advantageous as of Litespeed’s default configuration).

However I needed to show a more reliable case study to convenience all to consider using native backup in a VLDB system. Hence I found a SQLCAT case study (http://sqlcat.com/whitepapers/archive/2009/08/13/a-technical-case-study-fast-and-reliable-backup-and-restore-of-a-vldb-over-the-network.aspx) where a
backup of the 2-terabyte database was taken with-in 36 minutes. Considering the performance of SQL Native backup in this case, I believe it may be very beneficial if you also test the performance of SQL Native backup for it’s full potential before investing on any third party solutions.

I agree that tools like Litespeed or SQLBackup are much more efficient in taking backup of SQL Databases compared to native technologies till now and I am a big fan of implementing them in production environment when needed. But if you can live with the native technologies only, your group may be able to save some money for your next year bonusJ. Also you will no longer worry about compatibility issues between various tools.