Feature Request - Offline Backup
Consider the following scenario:
1) A database is attached to SQL Server and hosted on a SAN.
2) The SAN disks are being mirrored internally within the SAN.
3) The SAN mirror is suspended, and the suspended copy is mounted on another server that does not need to have SQL Server installed. We now have a frozen copy of the database that is not attached to SQL Server.
4) A backup is made of the frozen copy, and the backup is registered on the SQL Server instance holding the live database.
This has allowed us to make a backup of the database without putting any load on the SQL Server instance, apart from a small transaction to register the backup. This technique could be used for Full, Differential and Log backups. However, for a Full backup the dirty page map used for differentials could not be reset on the live database.
This concept becomes more valuable as database sizes grow, where the impact of taking a database backup on the SQL Server instance can impact user response time for hours. It would also assist implementation of this concept if Red Gate could work with the popular SAN vendors to provide sample automation scripts.