Microsoft SQL Server is one of the most popular data stores for businesses today, and backing up a SQL Server database is one of the most common and important tasks for a database administrator (DBA). But while disaster recovery (DR) planning has traditionally focused on backup speeds and processes, the real goal is rapid recovery. When business is offline, restoring capabilities for your SQL Server data is the only thing that matters.
Huge Data Backups Threaten Recovery Times
As the volume of data captured and stored by businesses soars, database backup and restore times are increasing. DBAs often struggle to squeeze in critical testing of backup and recovery of all SQL Server databases, in fact, because of immense database sizes. When the time comes to perform actual recovery, untested restore operations might fail, and even well-tested recovery measures might take too long because of high data volumes, which could result in missed service-level agreements (SLAs).
Making matters worse is the fact that many companies today still rely on slow backup appliances based on large, inexpensive hard-disk drives (HDDs). Spinning-disk technology, however, can no longer keep up with the efficiency demands that today’s large SQL Server databases require for backup and restore operations. And these backup appliances all have their own administration interfaces and operating systems, leading to silos of database backups and adding to management complexity.
Simple, Rapid Restore for SQL Server Through Pure Storage FlashBlade
Rapid Restore refers to the extremely fast backup-and-restore functionality delivered by the Pure Storage FlashBlade product. FlashBlade is a ground-breaking, scale-out flash storage system that is an ideal target for SQL Server backups in today’s demanding conditions that require speed, size, and simplicity.
First, FlashBlade is fast. Its massively parallel architecture allows up to 17 GB/s of throughput for both large and small files, and it can reduce restore time from days to hours.1
Second, FlashBlade is big. It contains petabytes of capacity, stores tens of billions of objects and files, and handles up to tens of thousands of clients.
Finally, FlashBlade is simple. It provides a single storage platform to consolidate all your data silos, including SQL Server backups, and you can scale as needed instantly simply by adding more blades. Maintenance is simple too. The FlashBlade product comes “tuned for everything,” with no manual optimizations required. And through the Evergreen StorageTM subscription model by Pure Storage, upgrades are made without any downtime, which avoids disruption and
further simplifies storage management.
FlashBlade Simplifies Backup Infrastructure for SQL Server
Figure 1 compares a sample backup and restore infrastructure for SQL Server with and without FlashBlade. In the original scenario, without FlashBlade, SQL Server is backed up to a backup appliance and sometimes restored to a testing and development sandbox. Data collected for analytics and other miscellaneous files and objects (in a data lake) remain siloed in separate repositories. In the new scenario, with FlashBlade, SQL Server is backed up to FlashBlade, where it is joined with testing data, datasets for analytics, and any miscellaneous file and object data on a single platform.
FlashBlade Proves a Fast Backup Target for SQL Server
In performance testing, Pure Storage confirmed that FlashBlade is a lightning-fast backup target. Using FlashBlade (with a minimal configuration of seven blades) as a backup target in a SQL Server environment resulted in 1.9 GB/s throughput and a completion time of 14 minutes and 26 seconds for a 3.2 TB database (with 1.6 TB of realistic data in the test configuration).2
FlashBlade Delivers Rapid and Simple Recovery for SQL Server
SQL Server is the mission-critical platform of choice for many organizations. As your databases grow in SQL Server, your backup targets need to offer faster speed than is typically available with backup appliances. FlashBlade relies on all-flash technology to reduce the time required to perform database backup and restore operations for SQL Server databases, providing one extremely fast and consolidated platform for all your file and object data.