Backup Exec incorporates online, nondisruptive SQL database protection as part of everyday backup routines, which increases the chance of data recovery and minimizes data loss without inhibiting daily database activity. Using database, differential, and log backups provides a good balance between backup windows and minimizes the amount of time that will be spent recovering a database if the need arises.
To decide which backup methods to use for the best data protection, consider the following for typical environments:
In small environments, consider running a daily full database backup every evening and daily transaction log backups.
In mid-sized environments, consider running a weekly full database backup and daily transaction log backups along with daily differential backups except on the day when the full backup is run.
In large environments, consider running daily differential database backups, weekly full database backups, and transaction log backups as necessary. Many shops run full backups on a weekly basis, preferring to run differential backups throughout the week to keep backup run time to a minimum. Extremely large environments may need to run filegroup backups in order to split the full backup over several days. Log backups are required to be able to recover a system from a filegroup backup.
The trade-off with running fewer full backups and running more differential backups occurs at recovery time when you must recover using the full database backup as well as the last differential database backup, and all log backups made after the last differential database backup.
What will work best for you will be based on the size of your environment, the number of transactions processed each day, and the expectations of your users when a recovery is required.