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I have just started as a DBA and my first task is to move a 4TB database from a physical server to a virtual server with little down time.

I have found a way to copy the database across, but not how to keep it up to date without having a current full/log backup.

Does any one know of a way I can mirror the database without having to make a full backup and mirror transaction logs?

  • There's very big for a database to be 4TB. Or you referring to multiple databases that add up to 4TB? Nonetheless, mirroring is probably one of the least downtime to move the database. Is this 4TB database transactions intensive? – Yoshiaki May 11 '18 at 7:05
  • This is one database that's 4TB in size. I've done a copy database and then tried to configure mirroring but it tells me that there are bulk changes and needs to have the last log file restored. This is the part I'm looking to get round. The Database is very transaction intensive. – Craig Ensor May 11 '18 at 7:26
  • Is there anytime or days where the load will be lesser? – Yoshiaki May 11 '18 at 7:39
  • No Its a 24/7 system – Craig Ensor May 11 '18 at 8:28
  • Why does applying log backups pose an issue? How often are you taking them? – Erik Darling May 11 '18 at 10:59
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I have just started as a DBA

Solving problems using Backup and Restore is the bread-and-butter of a DBA.

move a 4TB database from a physical server to a virtual server with little down time.

Define "little".

The safest, simplest thing is to leave the database in Simple recovery, and use Full/Differential backups to move the data.

You can also switch to Full recovery and use Log backups instead of Differential backups.

In both cases you would

1) Take a Full backup

2) Restore the Full backup on the new server WITH NORECOVERY

3) Begin Downtime

4) Take a final Log Backup or Differential Backup

5) Restore the all the Log Backups or the Differential Backup WITH RECOVERY

6) Set the database OFFLINE on the old server

7) End Downtime

You can perform steps 1, 2, 4, and 5 as many times as you want in testing, and to measure the required downtime.

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