How to use snapshot technology with the SQL Agent

The SQL Agent supports snapshot technology for SQL through the use of the Symantec Backup Exec – Advanced Open File Option (AOFO) and the Advanced Disk-based Backup Option (ADBO). ADBO can only be installed on Windows Server 2003/2008. The use of ADBO and AOFO can reduce both restore time and backup impact on the server.


The SQL Agent also supports SQL 2005 or later database snapshot technology.

Before you use snapshot technology with the SQL Agent, review the following information:

  • With snapshot technology, a point in time view of the SQL database is “snapped” and then backed up, leaving the actual SQL database open and available for users.

  • Symantec recommends that SQL backup jobs be run separately from AOFO or ADBO backup jobs because SQL backups made with snapshot technology are considerably bigger than regular SQL backups.

  • Performing consistency checks before backup is highly recommended.

  • The SQL Agent only supports full snapshot backups; filegroup snapshots, log snapshots, and differential snapshots are not supported.

  • If a filegroup, differential, or transaction log backup method is selected, AOFO or ADBO Backup Job Properties are ignored and a traditional differential or transaction log backup will be performed.

  • With the SQL Agent, snapshot and traditional backups are interoperable when restoring SQL data.

  • For the Intelligent Disaster Recovery Option to work with SQL backups, copies are made of the master and model databases. Copies are only made when non-snapshot backups of master and model are run. If you are using AOFO or ADBO for SQL backups, make at least one backup of the master and model databases without using AOFO or ADBO.

  • If SQL is upgraded, refresh the copies with another non-snapshot backup.

  • SQL backups made using AOFO or ADBO will fail if multiple databases are selected for backup and SQL Service Pack 2 is not installed. If SQL 2000 Service Pack 2 or later is installed, you can select multiple databases at the same time for backup.

  • Snapshot backups of the master database cannot be redirected.

  • Performing database consistency checks both before and after backups impacts the time required for the backup jobs.

More Information

About SQL 2005 or later database snapshots

About consistency checks for SQL

Setting backup options for SQL

How to use snapshot technology with the SQL Agent