Is the Bulk-Logged recovery model in SQL Server ever preferable to Simple if point-in-time restore is never needed? I have read many articles about transaction log models, but cannot find a clear answer to this. The database in question has a lot of activity during nightly loading, but the data doesn't change after that. I am doing a full backup daily. Wouldn't Simple be the best choice here, while also potentially using less storage?
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No, use simple
Bulk-Logged is a special case of FULL, not an enhanced version of SIMPLE.
Bulk logged with minimally logged operations also requires the data files to be present. Full does not because each row changes is logged. This introduces another complexity.
So use SIMPLE if you can restore to the last full database backup
If you have a nightly load, then using DIFF backups is probably enough to give you extra restore capabilities.
Note, I don't think I've ever used bulk logged recovery since SQL Server 6.5
And yes: simple recovery means smaller a transaction log, no need for transaction log backups and because of that even less backup volume.