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Prioritizing SQL database backup among other nightly backups.

Backup expert Brien Posey offers advice for prioritizing among SQL database backup, Exchange database backup and other nightly backup tasks.

If a company must perform several backup tasks each night -- such as SQL database backup, Exchange database backup, backing up user-created files and backing up the Web server -- how do you determine the order in which they are backed up?

If parallel backups are not an option, then an organization should perform the most disruptive backup first. In this situation, for example, the organization might choose to back up the user files first if the backup software does not allow open files to be backed up.

The next most logical thing to back up might be the SQL Server. Even though SQL can be backed up while it is running, users typically exert a heavy workload on SQL servers. The backup process robs the SQL server of I/O cycles, so it is best to back it up during off-peak hours.

Exchange would likely be the last server backed up since Exchange can be backed up while it is in use and Exchange databases have relatively low I/O requirements (at least compared to SQL).

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