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John_Grovender's avatar
4 months ago

MS SQL VADP Application State Capture (ASC) Backups are Fully Recoverable in NetBackup 10.4

Starting with NetBackup 10.4, VMware VADP Microsoft SQL full backups can be configured for complete application restoration. Before this release, users had just copy-only full backups combined with differential and incremental transaction log backups to restore their MS SQL applications. Copy-only full backups perform ASC, but do not allow for complete application recoveries. Also, copy-only can’t recover the transaction logs on top of those style backups like the new style full backups can.

Now users have the option to configure their VMware MS SQL data protection two different ways as shown in the policy and protection plan figures below:

  • The new Microsoft Transact-SQL (T-SQL) full backups configured for full application recoveries. Subsequent differential backup benchmarks are reset so differential backups don’t grow to become the size of fulls
  • The traditional copy-only full backups with incremental and transaction log backups in separate schedules

NetBackup 10.4 and onward makes this is possible because MS-SQL full backups are now cataloged as assets in the NetBackup Web UI. Users can now select MS SQL recovery points in the Web UI from either type of backup displayed in the MS SQL assets as shown in the figure below. So, restores work the same way they always have, just with the option of T-SQL full recovery points. Incremental and transaction log backups continue to use the NetBackup client agent.

There are a few important notes to consider when using the new fully recoverable MS SQL full backups: 

  • This new full backup takes advantage of the T-SQL snapshot feature that begins in MS SQL 2022 but does so in compliance with that snapshot feature’s limitations. Those limitations include that no earlier MS-SQL versions are allowed, or that more than sixty-four (64) databases are included in a snapshot.  Microsoft will most likely increase the sixty-four-database limit in the future
  • This new full backup is an “opt in” feature and not the default full. The traditional copy-only full method is offered with the option to use the T-SQL snapshot as an alternative. Neither the “Truncate logs” or “Enable T-SQL snapshots” option are enabled by default
  • Selecting the T-SQL option in a VMware (VADP) policy automatically sets snapshot handling to “Stop the backup if any snapshots exist.” This is a Microsoft requirement to ensure that the database is not in a suspended or inoperable state during the backup
  • All NetBackup servers involved in T-SQL full backups or restores must be at version 10.4 or higher
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