LiteSpeed by Quest software is an enterprise-level backup solution for MS SQL Server. This solution includes several powerful features that increase the ease and efficiency of database archiving on an enterprise level. This How do I... shows you how to install, configure, and use LiteSpeed.
This blog post is also available in PDF form as a TechRepublic download.
LiteSpeed is a complete backup solution and includes these features:
- An adjustable level of compression (in some situations up to 95 percent) for your backups
- The ability to create your backups with varying types of industry-standard encryption
- The ability to do object-level restores (i.e., tables, views, and stored procedures; this feature is available only in the enterprise version)
- Mirroring of your backup files to multiple locations
- An enterprise console allowing you to control the backup and restores of all your MS SQL Servers in one location
- Integrated log shipping
- The ability to query backup files
- Fast backup times
It also allows full scripting of your backup and restore routines, as you need to install only a few extended stored procedures on your database servers. This allows you to maintain full control of your backup and restore settings and not rely on third-party software to determine your backup routines. Using the powerful extended stored procedures, you can even insert queries (select statements only) into the restore process, allowing you to restore only the data you need, down to the row level.
When installing LiteSpeed, you will first want to install the Enterprise Console (unless you are using only scripting to do your backups). To do this, you will need to select a custom installation type during installation (from the single install executable). When presented with the choice of which components to install, you will need to deselect the LiteSpeed Engine. The Engine contains the DLLs needed for creation of the extended stored procedures. This allows you to install the management tools (including the Enterprise Console) to a workstation that is not running MS SQL Server.
Deselect LiteSpeed EngineTo install the LiteSpeed Engine on your MS SQL Servers, you will again need to run the installer and choose a custom install. This time, though, you will install only the LiteSpeed Engine. This installation does not require a reboot of your system or a restart of your MS SQL services. The actual install of the extended procedures takes only seconds and creates a minimal impact on your servers. It is a very safe procedure to run, even on production systems.
Select LiteSpeed Engine
When you are installing the LiteSpeed Engine on your database servers, you can install LiteSpeed across all of your SQL instances on that server simultaneously. You can also customize the installation account details for each instance. You can use Windows Authentication, SQL authentication, or a mixture of the two between instances, or you can use a single account for all instances. You can also uninstall in mass using this same procedure.
All SQL instances
In the program group created on each server, you can use the LiteSpeed configuration tool to set defaults for your systems on that server. You can set your standard compression levels, the type of encryption to use, the priority at which the backups will run, and the number of threads the backups can use, along with several other settings. This is useful if you are using scripting to do your backups using the extended stored procedures, as you will not need to adjust these settings in every backup script, only when you wish to deviate from your standard settings.
When you start the Enterprise Console, you are greeted with a screen that allows you to enter the Backup Wizard, the Restore Wizard, or to start an Object Recovery. As we are currently looking at backups, that is what we will choose.
The first thing you will need to do is select the MS SQL Server instance you would like to back up. After selecting this, you will be able to select the database you would like to back up from the list of databases contained on that instance.
You will then be able to select whether you want to back up to disk or tape. You will also be able to select whether you want this to be a full backup, a transaction log backup, a file group level backup, or a database differential backup. You can also choose to use the native SQL Server backup procedures instead of LiteSpeed, if you wish. Of course, you have the option to run the backup immediately, to schedule the backup to run at a later time, or to schedule a recurring backup.
Where and when
You can select the Backup Options button to be presented with the same configuration options you see on the LiteSpeed configuration page, though presented slightly differently. You can use this if you don't want to set defaults on each server or if you need to deviate from your defaults. The latter choice is especially useful when you are performing one-time backups that do not meet the same set of requirements you normally use, such as using higher compression settings to ftp a database to a vendor or to encrypt a database backup that may need a higher level of security than your other databases.
The scheduling utility follows the standard Windows scheduler look and feel, which should be familiar to most users. Two major differences are present: Daily Frequency and Duration are given their own tabs. This breaks out these settings even further, as they can be of a much greater importance for DBAs who are scheduling Transaction Log backups every few minutes.
Daily Frequency and Duration tabs
You can select the exact location where you will place your backups, whether it is on tape or disk. You can also choose to verify the integrity of backup files, to mirror the files created across multiple locations (to provide higher levels of fault tolerance), or to optimize this particular backup set for object-level recovery. This option (again, available only on the Enterprise version of LiteSpeed), is useful for large databases where full restores will be infrequent but a table or stored procedure restore is much more likely to happen.
Finally, you can either create the backup job as a SQL Agent job on your database instance or you can view a full script of the options you selected. You can then take the T-SQL script and use it to schedule your job or embed it within another job. You can also save it, for those times you need to create a backup and do not wish to go through the Enterprise Console.