SQL 2005 - mirroring, replication, or log shipping for DR?

By cmaritz ·
Hi All,

Yes, I'm a bit of a SQL noob. Let me establish this first :-)

I have a SQL database and at the moment our disaster recovery steps consist of restoring the last daily full backup (.BAK file), plus hourly transaction logs (.TRN files) to a spare server.

Problem is, the .BAK file alone takes 8 hours to restore.

Hence I'm investigating other recovery options and in the SQL Management Studio I see various features that LOOK like they do what I want. These are:

- mirroring
- replication
- transaction log shipping

So far I've played around with mirroring, only to hit the 'Error 1418 brick wall'. Before barking up this tree for too long I figured I better check if it's the right tree. Maybe mirroring is not what I need, and one of the others would do fine.

Basically, I don't need an automatic failover solution (although it would be nice!). A sub-30min restore in the event of disaster would be fine.

I'm running SQL on a live server, and also a backup server. Same admin login, same subnet, same domain, same SQL version (2005) and same service pack (3).

If you have experience in setting up mirroring / replication / log shipping in SQL, and can guide me as to advantages and disadvantages, please let me know.

Cheers & thanks,


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