Overview - SQL Server iDataAgent

Table of Contents

Introduction

The Microsoft SQL Server iDataAgent provides a simplified end-to-end backup and recovery solution for SQL data in your enterprise. The product can be used to perform both full system rebuilds and granular recovery of the data.

Key Features

Full Range of Backup Options

The SQL iDataAgent provides the flexibility to backup the SQL database from different environments. You can perform a full or incremental backup of the entire instance, individual databases or files and file groups, and the transaction logs at any point of time as described below:

Database Backups

You can backup both the system and user-defined databases. You can comprehensively backup all the databases in an instance or schedule backups for the individual databases. You can also auto-discover new databases to comprehensively manage the backup of all databases in your environment.

Transaction Log Backups

Transaction log backups captures the transaction log whether the transaction was committed or not. The use of transaction log backups make point in time recovery possible. You can restore to any point in time within the transaction log.

File and File Groups Backups

Files or file group backups allows you to backup individual files or file groups. This functionality can be critically important, especially for large databases. Whereas a full database backup captures all files of a given database, file and file group backups allow you to back up selected portions of a database individually. As with database backups, the system provides the option of performing full, differential, and transaction log backups of file and file groups. Note that when running a transaction log backup for a File/File Group subclient, the database log is automatically backed up.

Advanced SQL Server Restore Capabilities

The SQL iDataAgent provides the ability to recover databases or entire SQL instance. There is no mounting, no recovery wizards, no extra steps needed – the software takes care of it all. This includes the following abilities:

  • Full or Partial Restore databases
  • Restore and replay transaction logs
  • Set Database state during restore (Recovery, Standby, No Recovery)
  • Point-in-time recovery

Efficient Job Management and Reporting

You can view and verify the status of SQL backup and recovery operations from the Job Controller and Event Viewer windows within the CommCell Console. You can also track the status of the jobs using Reports, which can be saved and easily distributed. Reports can be generated for different aspects of data management. You also have the flexibility to customize the reports to display only the required data and save them to any specified location in different formats. For example, you can create a backup job summary report to view at-a-glance the completed backup jobs.

In addition, you can also schedule these reports to be generated and send them on email without user intervention.

Backup and Recovery Failovers

In the event that a MediaAgent used for the backup or recovery operation fails, it is automatically resumed on alternate MediaAgents. In such cases, the backup or restore job will not restart from the beginning, but will resume from the point of failure. This is especially useful for backups and restores on large SQL databases.

In the event, that a network goes down, the backup and recovery jobs are resumed on alternate data paths. Similarly, in the event of a device failure, the jobs are automatically switched to alternate disk and tape drives.

Block Level Deduplication

Deduplication provides a smarter way of storing data by identifying and eliminating the duplicate items in a data protection operation.

Deduplication at the data block level compares blocks of data against each other. If an object (file, database, etc.) contains blocks of data that are identical to each other, then block level deduplication eliminates storing the redundant data and reduces the size of the object in storage. This way dramatically reduces the backup data copies on both the disk and tapes.

SnapProtect Backup

SnapProtect backup enables you to create a point-in-time snapshot by temporarily quiescing the data, taking a snapshot, and then resuming live operations. SnapProtect backups work in conjunction with hardware snapshot engines.

Terminology

The SQL documentation uses the following terminology:

Client

The computer in which the iDataAgent is installed and contains the data to be secured.

Instance

The SQL instance used for backup and restore operations.

Subclient

The SQL databases within the instance used for backup and restore operations.

Where to Go Next

Install the SQL iDataAgent

Walks you through the process of installing the SQL iDataAgent.