Monday, October 01, 2007

SQLServer: Transactional Replication Issues

After seeing a few friends at the SQLPass 2007 Summit in Colorado and discussing some of the finer 'features' of pier to pier transactional replication and large database systems (my friends work on the replication team at Microsoft), I quickly ran into one of my big grips with P2P replication and SQLServer 2005.

I had noted that being able to set up P2P from a 3rd party backup tool is essential with large databases (> 100GB) because creating a backup with SQLServer 2005 just takes way too long. The problem is, however, that SQLServer must know which LSN the backup was on when it was restored to the replicated server, so that any transactions that have occurred on the main database since the backup was taken can be correctly applied in the correct order.

The only way for SQLServer to get that is by reading the header in the backup file, which can't be done via a third party backup tool (SQLLightspeed, SQLBackup, etc, etc). My friends implied that if I knew the LSN, it could be done. I'm not quite there yet.

However, it wouldn't be that hard for Microsoft to allow a third party backup tool to call a procedure letting replication know what the current LSN is, thus fixing the problem. Hmm...

Maybe one day. For now, we'll have to deal with 5 hour backups and 2 hours restores in order to setup P2P transactional replication from backup, at least until SQLServer 2008 come around and do the backups for us with it's supposedly blazing fast compression, etc.

I'm not holding my breath....
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