Understanding the Full Recovery Model in SQL Server and Exploring Its Challenges

The Full Recovery model in SQL Server comes with its own set of challenges and benefits, here we give an overview of both.

One of the greatest things about using the SQL Server is the recovery models it provides. Depending upon the kind of data you are working on and your future requirements, you can select which recovery model will be best for you. The action of backing up data and then restoring it is a part of the recovery model provided in SQL Server. As of now, SQL users have the option of using three different types of recovery models, namely:

Simple Recovery, Full Recovery, and Bulk Logged Recovery model. Today we will discuss about the Full Recovery Model, and what are the challenges that come along with it.Understanding The Full Recovery Model In SQL Server

Full Recovery Model

Recovery Models In SQL ServerIn the full recovery model, SQL Server secures all transaction data within the transaction log till it is not backed up or truncated. This happens because all transactions issued for SQL Server enter the transaction log before they can make way towards the relevant data file. This also gives the application a chance to rollback the entire process if the transaction gets cancelled due to any error. One of the most used and the most effective forms of backup options available in SQL Server is the Full backup. This is the most exclusive of all backup options available, it allows the user to recover data from any given point of time, because it uses transaction log for backing up your database.

Thus in the Full recovery model you get the option of making point in time recovery because all transactions are saved. A full recovery model is till date the most comprehensive backup option available. When you make use of this model, all the operations will get fully logged by default, thus giving you the option of repair SQL Server at any given point. If you are making use of this model, you will also have to issue commands for transaction log backups, if you don’t do this, you transaction logs will not stop growing. When you are operating in Full recovery model, you can perform all of these backups:

  • Differential backups
  • Complete backups
  • File backups
  • Partial backups
  • Copy Only Backups
  • Transaction log Backups

The advantages and Challenges of Using Full Recovery Model


  • The greatest advantage of operating in Full Recovery is that it is best when it comes to managing critical data, and ensures that no data is lost.
  • It provides the user with the ability to perform point in time recovery.
  • It makes use of database mirroring, which is one of the effective means of ensuring the safety of data, and that it is available in case of disasters.


This is one of those areas where there is not much to mention about. The challenges of operating in Full recovery model are limited, and they are:

  • If there is any damage to the transaction log, the most recent changes might not be backed up. Or the log might have to be backed up again.
  • One of the most troubling challenges of this model is the space it consumes and the amount of time it takes. To operate in this model you need to have not just a lot of time, but also disk space.

Author Introduction:

Victor Simon is a data recovery expert in DataNumen, Inc., which is the world leader in data recovery technologies, including corrupted mdb and sql recovery software products. For more information visit https://www.datanumen.com/

2 responses to “Understanding the Full Recovery Model in SQL Server and Exploring Its Challenges”

  1. I do not know if it’s just me or if everybody else encountering problems with your blog. It looks like some of the written text on your content are running off the screen. Can somebody else please provide feedback and let me know if this is happening to them too? This could be a issue with my internet browser because I’ve had this happen previously. Kudos

  2. Hi sir,
    I am very much inspired by your blogs. I always check your blogs and i feel very inspiring and knowledgeable.
    I have a database of size as 21GB.
    my log file has been grown upto 18 GB since my DB recovery model is ‘FULL’
    and i have 2 backups one is full backup which is weekly and Transaction log backup which is daily once in 24 hours.

    well i am facing a problem of very low performance and just want to know from your side that what are the immediate steps i have to take now.

    1)can i shrink the log file. if yes, how much size you want me to shrink it.
    2)what is the best practice you would suggest me to keep the transaction log backup.

    please guide me i would be very grateful to you.


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