Databases are backed up on a regular basis to protect the data in case of a catastrophic event. Many large corporate databases are backed up several times a day. Enterprises have a number of different strategies for planning and scheduling database backups.
A base backup, also known as a full backup, is the most recent full or file backup of the database or files, and differential backups are based on base backups.
Taking a full base backup takes a good bit of time and system resources, however, so most database administrators use a system where they take differential backups. A differential backup is “a backup containing only changes made to the database since the preceding data backup.”
Differential backups are generally preferred as backing up only the changes in the database is much less time and resource intensive than backing up all of the data in the DB. However, differential backups tend to increase in size over time unless you make regular base backups. Very large differential backups can significantly increase the time required to restore a database, so it is generally a good idea to make a full backup at relatively frequent intervals to establish a new “base.”
Idera’s SQL Safe is designed to make it easy for you to set up both base and differential backups. SQL Safe allows you to customize and fully automate your database backup procedures. For example, on active SQL Server instances where avoiding database downtime is critical, you might consider setting up a backup schedule using twice-daily differential backups with just a once-a-week base backup.