Can anyone please point me to a piece of documentation that suggest how many concurrent backups initiated by different BACKUP statements are possible in Microsoft SQL server 2008?

The documentation suggests that you can specify up to 64 different backup devices in one statement, but I have noticed today that SQL server was not treating my BACKUP statement while the one initiated by SQL Server Agent was running.

I have been closely observing the Performance Monitor and could tell that at one time only one .bak file was being written to.

Another proof of that would be a screenshot I have with SQL Management Studio query running time being 15 minutes, and the actual query result stating:

BACKUP DATABASE successfully processed 3422697 pages in 389.656 seconds (68.624 MB/sec).

So, how many simultaneous backups is SQLServer meant to handle (if any)?

  • Are you performing separate BACKUP statements, or one BACKUP statement splitting the file to multiple paths? Could you post your code? Oct 17, 2018 at 10:32
  • Like I said in the question "different BACKUP statements"
    – Tony Sepia
    Oct 17, 2018 at 10:34
  • 1
    You've misunderstood the documentation in that case - you can split a single backup to several files, but the backup statement itself is serial - only one backup can occur on any database at any time. Oct 17, 2018 at 10:41
  • Multiple fiels are usefull if the files go i.e. to slower devices (tape) - they are essintially RAID 1ing the data.
    – TomTom
    Oct 17, 2018 at 10:53
  • @TonySepia; 68 MB/sec sounds like an old HDD. If you have more than one of those, you can increase the speed of the backup by writing the backup out to two (or more) files. Remember to test your restore procedure, as you need all files for a restore to complete. Mar 15, 2019 at 8:04

1 Answer 1


SQL Server backups are serial on a per-database basis.

This page gives you which administrative tasks can and cannot be run concurrently Concurrent Administrative Operations.

  • Thank you, this is exactly what I was looking for!
    – Tony Sepia
    Oct 17, 2018 at 10:54

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