Earlier this summer I was reading the SQL Backup and Restore book by Shawn McGehee published by Simple Talk Publishing.

There were many things that caught my interest and how this book was different from other books I have seen on the topic.  One of the first things is the author did not shy away from explaining recovery models and their impact or effect on the backup strategy. 

Knowing Red Gate has a tool for Backup and Restore, I was expecting this to be central to the writer’s story.  Yet, it wasn’t! It focused on the standard tools and also scripts. It laid out very well the different types of backups that are available and also the dependencies of each.  It does a good job of highlighting that.  Also goes into describing the experience those variables, the backup types and such, bring into the restore experience. Also, goes into generating metrics reports and gathering that information.  That way you can have a point of reference of how long a backup took to execute and complete.

The book lives well in the hands of someone that is just getting started to someone that has been battling backup and restore strategies. It not only describes the how, but it does provide insight into the why.  I do feel, however, <sarcasm> if someone is dealing with database operations and needs to understand the why backup/restore strategies are important, well maybe changing jobs would be recommended </sarcasm>

I normally deal with providing instructions to people on how to go about creating their scripts and handle the operations side of a backup and restore strategy.  This book does a great job providing examples of not only using the native tools SQL Server Management Studio has, but it dives into T-SQL scripts.  This is a huge plus!

With that said, the book goes from general knowledge in the first number of chapters to advanced towards the end.  This is a must have book for the intro level person, the accidental dba, and as a reference guide for those more advanced. An item of great importance is the coverage it gives to dealing with system database failures and the process to recover from those failures. The explanation of the implication, activity and process for understanding the transaction logs and to manage transaction log backup is extremely important. 

It also does a good job in getting into the planning and understanding a Service Level Agreement (it could have gone deeper, but a great job nonetheless) and also the considerations for data loss.

As I stated before, a good book to have and use.