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Last known good backup – Assumption is the mother of all xxxx ups

20 September,2014 by Tom Collins

“Assumption is the  mother of all xxxx ups” is a great quote from Under Siege 2. It summarises perfectly assumptions about last known good backups.

An application owner contacted me this week. He requested an immediate Restore of 3 databases  from a specific date ,he’d corrupted during an application install.  I’ve never had a problem restoring from this backup system, but like any system it requires rigorous governance and testing rigour.

Regular review of backup retention policy

A recent retention policy adjustment changed the last active database setting. In theory , based on the documented details of the retention policy, those backups should have been available. But they weren’t.

We recovered the system in a different way, but the point is still relevant about checking for last known good backups.

Moral of the story : regardless of how incredible your backup system, allow for reporting on databases that don’t have a backup suitable to Recovery Point Objective (RPO).

A regular SQL Server backup review with Powershell – is a good starting point. Also , in large environments I try and standardise , which keeps the variables to a minimum.

Take the DBA Ignorance , complacency and arrogance test

Read more on Regular SQL Server Backup Review


Author: Tom Collins (


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