In this article we look at why it is important to archive data in SQL Server
Archiving data refers to separately storing data that is currently not in use, but might be used for future purposes. Archived data is stored separately from the data currently in use so that excess data does not slow down the performance. It is important to archive data in SQL server as databases are usually very heavy files, and storing all databases, even those not in use on a single system will affect performance. Therefore for efficient working of the system it is important to separately store old data. Before archiving data in SQL server there are a few things one should keep in mind:
- Company requirements: Many companies have a legal requirement of archiving data for a particular period of time, whereas some companies do not have any such requirement and only ensure the safe- keeping of current databases. Therefore it is important for the DBA to be sure of the company’s requirements before archiving data in SQL server.
- Analyze data: After knowing the company requirements, it is important to analyze data, if it needs to be archived. There might not be requirement to archive the whole database but just a few tables which are important. There is also a need to regularly check the distribution of data over a month, a quarter or a year, so that it can be archived sequentially.
- Usage of archived data: After archiving data, there might be a need to make a few changes in the software for a better access to the archives. The DBA should either consult other DBAs over the use of archives or the developing team, to make the necessary changes.
- Justifying archived data: Sometimes a DBA might have to justify why the archiving of data in SQL server is important or how will it help the company, therefore a DBA should be confidant about why there is a need for archiving.
- Setup rules- it is important to ask the DBA to regularly archive data every week, every month or every quarter. Making the process automatic will make things easier.
Companies usually opt for archiving data due to regulatory compliance, but sometimes archiving is confused with backing up data. Backup is used for restoring data during a disaster, whereas archiving simply refers to storing data not in use for current operation away from the main server. Databases are heavy files and with the time the data gets old and is not needed, in such cases the important tables from the database can be archived and will be easily accessible.
Archived databases are usually indexed and can hence be easily accessed. Without proper indexing things will get complicated and will lead to more problems, effecting the company’s operations. The DBA often has to make a choice between what to archive and what to delete, however there is a large possibility of a lapse of judgment on the part of DBA, therefore it is important that such decisions are taken after consulting those in higher positions.
An archived SQL file can also get corrupted.
The archived SQL Server data file can get corrupted over a period of time, especially if stored on a removable media drive. To recover such data, one should use a powerful mdf recovery tool like DataNumen SQL Recovery. It has the prowess to bring back all sorts of data types stored in the database file and can even handle compromised files running into several GBs.
Alan Chen is President & Chairman of DataNumen, Inc., which is the world leader in data recovery technologies, including access recovery and sql recovery software products. For more information visit https://www.datanumen.com/