With database servers and other Tier 1 applications being virtualized, organizations need to ensure data recoverability to any point in time, minimizing impact on end users and supporting continuous business operation. Thus, backup and recovery strategies for highly transactional applications are of greater importance.
Veeam Backup & Replication offers you flexible options for backup and several approaches for restore of your virtualized SQL Servers and databases, including popular full restore of SQL Server virtual machine, file-level restore, and database restore using Veeam Explorer for Microsoft SQL Server. This document will describe the latter approach; to read about two others, refer to the Veeam Backup & Replication documentation at https://www.veeam.com/documentation-guides-datasheets.html. It is intended for backup administrators and other IT professionals involved in setting up SQL Server database backup and restore with Veeam solution.
For Veeam Backup & Replication v7 and earlier, SQL application items restore is carried out using U-AIR Microsoft SQL Recovery Wizard, described in the corresponding User Guide (https://helpcenter.veeam.com/backup/70/uair/).
To properly configure a backup job that will create a transactionally-consistent backup and allow for future restore of your SQL Server databases, you should understand how the backup processes implemented by Veeam work.
Veeam Backup & Replication creates a backup of the whole SQL Server, including all SQL Server instances and DBs, which can be full, incremental or reverse incremental backup (depending on the selected backup method). As for native SQL means, they perform backup per database, creating full and differential backups. Remember that these native SQL backup types do not correspond to Veeam backup methods in any way. In this context, consider that Veeam Backup & Replication will do the following during application-aware image-level backup creation:
- Create an image-level backup of your SQL Server VM, including all hosted instances and databases and their related settings, and store it to backup repository in Veeam’s proprietary format: .VBK (full VM backup), .VIB (incremental), or .VRB (reversed incremental).
- If transaction log handling option was selected, then Veeam Backup & Replication will obtain transaction log backup files (.BAK) created by native means and use Veeam log shipping server to store them to the location where VM backup is kept. These log backups will be stored in in Veeam’s proprietary format (.VLB).
These procedures, as well as Veeam log shipping server will be discussed later in this document.
To read more about backup methods and Veeam backup files, refer to the Veeam Backup & Replication User Guide at https://www.veeam.com/documentation-guides-datasheets.html. To read more about native backup means and Veeam approach since v8, you can refer to the https://www.veeam.com/wp-sql-server-backup-with-veeam.html