SQL SERVER – Very Powerful and Feature-Rich Backup, Zip and FTP Utility SQLBackupAndFTP

It goes without saying that Database Backup is the most important task for any Database Administrator (DBA). Naturally, large organizations always have a team of DBAs who execute Database Backup tasks. No matter how big or small an organization is, the importance of database backup remains the same across the board. It’s a common practice in several organizations to upload the backup to their remote location for additional safety. I totally vouch for this safety measure of having their additional backup on remote/satellite location. This redundancy comes in handy whenever a catastrophe of not having proper backup surfaces abruptly.

While I was searching online for a very simple solution for one of my clients, I came across a small-sized but feature-rich application from SqlBackupAndFTP.com. This practical application has been created by Pranas.NET (http://pranas.net) I have made extensive use of this tool for some time now and undoubtedly, this tool is very impressive by all standards!

To put it simply, SQLBackupAndFTP is MS SQL Server backup software. This tool performs several tasks such as running scheduled backups of SQL Server or SQL Server Express databases, zipping the backups, storing them on a network or on a FTP server, removing old backups, and finally, sending an e-mail confirmation on job’s success or failure. Besides, SQLBackupAndFTP Free is freeware, which is free from any spyware. Best of all, this ingeniously simple tool is extremely affordable for all. You just need to install it on the server and you can get up and running really fast.

Given below are some important tasks which this tool can perform using daily scheduler:
•    Backup SQL Server Database
•    Zip the backups
•    Encrypt the backups
•    FTP the backups to remove FTP server
•    Move file to local area network
•    Send final status of tasks in email.

Let us now see how we can take backup and move it to the desired folder.

Image 1: First, connect to the desired server.

Image 2: As you can see, all the settings are very easy as described in the following image. Pay attention to these very simple, one screen settings. From database selection to job scheduling, you can configure everything from this page itself.

Image 3: This screen describes all the steps that are being performed. User can easily view the status of all the jobs – either success or failure – on this page.

Image 4: The following screen displays the settings for advanced users who have to deal with large database.

Image 5: This screen displays email regarding final status of tasks, which is sent to the user after task completion.

Now, a question that might baffle your mind is – how this tool is better than maintenance tasks available in SQL Server. Well, here goes the answer. Maintenance tasks are easy to set up for backups; however, SQLBackupAndFTP have integrated solution for encryption, FTP and email which make it superior to maintenance tasks in every aspect.

I would like to present my unbiased view about this tool. At the same time, I want to give my readers a broad perspective about backup tools in general.  On comparing this tool with other backup tools I have experienced that it is not the fanciest tool to manage backups or check their health. This is one tool that smoothly performs the job in a few steps compared to native SQL Server backup, which takes numerous steps to execute the same job.

SQLBackupAndFTP is best suited for developers/DBAs who just want to ensure that they have schedule job that takes care of backup and moves them to appropriate place. In fact, it is ideal for any SQL Server database where backups need to be sent every day to a remote FTP server. It saves maintenance time on any SQL Server version. Besides, it is especially useful for SQL Server Express 2005 and SQL Server Express 2008, as they lack built in tools for backup.

This tool is compatible with almost all the known SQL Server versions. It works with SQL Server 2008 (all versions) and many of the previous versions.

While testing this tool, I noticed that there are few limitations. It does not support differential or transaction backups. I also found that this tool only works on local SQL Server instances and cannot connect to another SQL Server on LAN. When I contacted support, I came to know that they are planning to release its updated version in April 2009, which will not have any such limitations.

I strongly recommend this tool to all the DBAs. They must try it as it is absolutely free and does exactly what it promises. You can download your free copy of the tool from here.

Please share your experience about using this tool. I am eager to receive your feedback regarding this article.

Reference : Pinal Dave (http://blog.sqlauthority.com)

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