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What is Symantec Backup Exec (TM)? I noticed that it is running in one the database server i am maintaining. I am a newbie in db administration and i am not sure what it is. It is running DBCC CheckDB on different databases and running Backup on different databases. Can anybody give some info on this?Is this something windows server team does to protect data? I did some research and all i can see is information that says it is some kind of data protection program.

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I'm not sure if Symantec still owns it, but Backup Exec is Netbackup's little brother. I don't remember the feature differences but Netbackup is more for Enterprise environments and Backup exec for smaller ones.

Are you sure it's Backup Exec that's running DBCC? I've used Netbackup for SQL for many years and it's always done checksum checking during backup. I've never seen it run a DBCC check directly from the Netbackup server or via the client.

Any third party SQL backup software rides on top of the MS written SQL backup. What you're paying for is much better compression, AlwaysOn support, centralized job scheduling and backup image storage. SQL backup has a checksum option and most of the third party products support it as well. But the only time i've seen something not-SQL run dbcc or alter index on a database is Sharepoint doing it.

I've used both and prefer the third party products to native SQL backup any day.

  • When i ran sp_whoisactive on that particular DB server , i saw DBCC checkDB for dataabases and then BACKUP query running for databases.I created maintenanace plan for backups and i know that it runs during night time ,so i checked and i can see program name as Symantec Backup Exec(TM). – user9516827 Jun 21 '18 at 18:42
  • Was it the same SPID or hostname running DBCC and backup? You should also be careful about running your own backups if Backup Exec is running since you can break the log chain for log backups or cause differential backups to use your backup as a full instead of the Backup Exec. Short story is if you need to restore and someone tries to do it via backup exec and fails, it will be your fault. And this can be months down the road. I've personally seen situations like this. – Alen Jun 21 '18 at 18:48
  • DBCC is over and i didn't notice the SPID for that.But the login and hostname was same for Backup and DBCC.Login is domain\sbe and prgram name is Symantec Backup Exec(TM) I think someone is running it at server location.But i was not informed about this. – user9516827 Jun 21 '18 at 19:08
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    veritas.com/support/en_US/article.TECH53367. I checked Veritas support and apparently BE can run DBCC. Symantec spun Veritas off a year or two ago which is why it still says Symantec. I would not make changes or run your own processes until you figure out company policy and who is running it. I've personally seen personal backups mess up those taken by Netbackup and if the situation is serious enough it can get you fired. – Alen Jun 21 '18 at 19:13
  • okay.@Alen.Thanks for the info.it was really helpful.I have enquired windows server team to if someone turned it on. – user9516827 Jun 21 '18 at 19:29
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What is Symantec Backup Exec (TM)?

Symantec Backup Exec is a backup software that works on many types of platforms in your environment. One of those features is to back up SQL Server Databases.

It is running DBCC CheckDB on different databases and running Backup on different databases. Can anybody give some info on this?

Best practice dictates that you would run DBCC CHECKDB on your database before backing it up. This checks for corruption or other irregularities detrimental to the integrity of the database. After all, would you want to take a backup of a bad database, pay to store the backup, and then try to use the backup in a disaster recovery scenario?

So I'm not surprised it runs the check, there are other back up software platforms out there that do things similarly.

Is this something windows server team does to protect data?

There's a good chance that someone on your windows team configured the software to do this. There's a good chance that someone who was in the database role prior to you did this. I would not consider this "protecting" data, but "preserving" data.

I would recommend to do some reading regarding backups. I'm also a strong believer in the "Ozar" hierarchy. If you are familiar with psychology and Maslow's hierarchy of needs, databases are very similar. The core block for database administration is having data to administrate. If you cannot recover or use the data you are administrating, this is how most DBA's lose their jobs. This is the most important piece of database administration. (Shy of security. Some scenarios, you may prefer to have no data than let someone else get a hold of your data. Both are terrible things and I hope you never need to deal with either.)

Philosophy aside, here's a great article to read to get your feet wet. Grant Fritchey of Redgate on backups.

Ozar also has some great questions to think about regarding backups.

I would reach out to whomever at your company configured the software or knows about it. Possibly even the person who purchases / renews the software and see if you have support with Symantec. If you have support with them, you may be able to call and receive a demo on how to use the product and basic instructions on how to configure and adjust it.

I already have database back job and DBCC checkdb for the databases as sql jobs which runs as per maintenanace plan.So this Symantic Backup Exec is required or not?

There is no correct answer I can give you regarding this question. What I will say though is that if you are running a DBCC CHECKDB and a FULL backup on the same server with two different processes, you are duplicating computing effort and time. I typically recommend (have not found that edge case yet) to have only one backup "process" per server.

(Process meaning, you use the Symantec software, or perhaps maintenance jobs, or personal made scripts, etc.)

Questions I would ask:

  • Does this software give you extra capabilities?
  • Does this software have any kind of guarantees?
  • Why did your company decide to use this software, were the SQL Servers just thrown into the mix?

Maintenance plans are typically frowned upon because they are not highly configurable or robust. I don't think there is anything wrong with using them, but this goes into the discussion about the right tool for the right job. Don't hammer a screw into place if you have a screwdriver.

What your action plan probably should be (and in order):

  • Make sure you have a complete set of backups that have had DBCC CHECKDB ran on them and verify they work and can be restored from.
  • Verify your RPO / RTO / SLA of the databases and verify your current configuration.
    • Does this match what your company and employer needs and do they understand the ramifications? Typically the less lost data, the higher the monetary cost.
  • Reduce redundancy.
  • Monitor, report, and test your backups.
    • This goes in hand with practicing disaster recovery.
  • Continue to improve and innovate your backup and disaster recovery process.

Apart from that, make sure to do a lot of reading. Backups are a very important subject to know well if this is part of your job.

  • Thanks for the info.I will do the readings as mentioned.One more questions I already have database back job and DBCC checkdb for the databases as sql jobs which runs as per maintenanace plan.So this Symantic Backup Exec is required or not? – user9516827 Jun 21 '18 at 18:22
  • I've edited my answer to include this question too. @user9516827 – Shaulinator Jun 21 '18 at 18:33

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