In today’s digital age, data is more valuable than ever. Whether you’re a business owner or an individual, losing important files can be a nightmare. That’s where Google Cloud backup and disaster recovery (DR) comes in. In this article, we’ll explore the ins and outs of backing up and recovering Microsoft SQL Server databases using Google Cloud. So let’s dive in!
Setting the Scene
Before we get started, there are a few things we need to do to set the stage. First, we’ll need to install the backup and DR service, which will provide us with our management console. Then, we’ll deploy a backup and recovery appliance into one of our projects, running as a Compute Engine instance. This appliance will handle the actual backup process. Additionally, we’ll set up an OnVault Pool in Google Cloud Storage to store our backups.
Once that’s done, we can proceed to deploy the backup and DR agent into our Windows servers. Whether they are Compute Engine instances, Compute Engine VMs, or VMware VMs, these servers should be running a SQL Server database or a Windows file system that we want to back up.
The Backup Process
Now let’s take a look at the backup process itself. It involves a two-step process: discovering the applications and applying a backup plan to them.
First, we’ll use our onboarding wizard to discover the applications on our Windows servers. Then, we’ll apply a backup plan to each application. This plan can be tailored to specific instances, databases, or even a group of databases that need to be backed up together.
The backup process has six steps:
Connect with the application: The backup and recovery appliance communicates with the backup and DR agent on the Windows Server through port 5106.
Prepare for backup: The appliance confirms that everything is ready to go and brings the backup disk over iSCSI, using a virtual disk presented from the snapshot pool.
Create VSS snapshot: In coordination with the backup and DR agent, Microsoft SQL Server utilizes its VSS provider to create a VSS snapshot of the source drives. This snapshot is then copied onto the backup disk. The first copy is a full copy, while subsequent backups are incremental.
Internal snapshot: After each backup, an internal snapshot of the backup disk is created. This serves as our internal backup, stored in the snapshot pool.
Optional offsite storage: We have the option to copy the changed blocks, including all blocks initially and subsequently, into the OnVault pool. This serves as our offsite storage in a second location.
Log backups (optional): Log backup jobs can be run separately from database backup jobs. These jobs copy the logs onto a shared SCSI disk, and internal snapshots are used to maintain copies of them. Log backups can also be stored externally in a vault.
In the unfortunate event of data loss or corruption, Google Cloud offers various restoration options. Here are some of the best ones:
Mounting: We can mount a copy of the virtual disk containing the backup to any server, whether it’s the source server or another target server. This allows us to start the database seamlessly.
Traditional restore: This method involves connecting with the source host, presenting the backup disk to it, and copying the backup over the corrupted or unworkable database.
Cloning: Cloning is like a restore but to any host of our choice. We can clone the database to any additional host while also restoring the source host.
Now that you have the basic understanding of Google Cloud server backup, you might be wondering how to get started. Here are the setup steps you’ll need to follow:
- Activate the backup DR service.
- Create a Google Cloud Storage bucket for OnVault.
- Validate your ingress and egress firewall rules, particularly ports 3264 and 5106.
- Download and install the Windows agent on every host you want to back up, making sure to activate CBT (Change Block Tracking) and copy the shared secret.
- Add the Cloud Storage bucket as an OnVault pool in the backup and DR service.
- Create backup plans and apply them to your Windows hosts.
- Onboard your applications and configure backup plans for each of them.
- Finally, you’re all set to start backing up and recovering your applications whenever the need arises.
In conclusion, Google Cloud server backup simplifies the process of protecting your valuable data. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can ensure that your Microsoft SQL Server databases and Windows file systems are securely backed up and easily recoverable. Protect your data, and enjoy peace of mind with Google Cloud backup!
Disclaimer: This article provides an overview of Google Cloud server backup and is intended for informational purposes only. For detailed instructions and expert guidance, please refer to the official documentation and consult with a qualified professional.
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