MS SQL backup requirements

The minimum backup unit is a database. It is not possible to exclude certain tables or files from a backup selection.

Host system

The Backup Manager must be installed on the same MS SQL server that you want to back up.

MS SQL Server Configuration

If the MS SQL Server has the Azure AD Connect feature enabled, we recommend running a test backup. If the backup session fails with a VSS error, this may be due to an Azure AD Connect upgrade released in October 2017.

You can resolve the issue by changing the "Log On" account for the SQL Server VSS Writer service from "Local System account" to a domain administrator account. To learn more about possible solutions, see the help articles listed below.

Free space

There must be a sufficient amount of free space in the VSS Shadow Copy storage area.

This is because MS SQL backups depend on VSS snapshots. When a backup session is completed, snapshots are automatically deleted.

Recovery model

We highly recommend setting the database to the simple recovery model before starting backups. Under this model, inactive virtual log files are automatically removed after each checkpoint (or shortly after it). It saves space and helps avoid unnecessary processing.

Here is how to access the model selection:

  1. Start the SQL Server Management Studio.
  2. In the Object Explorer, right-click a database and then select Properties from the context menu that opens.
  3. In the Recovery model list, select Simple.

Important notes

  • The simple recovery model makes it possible to restore a database only to the end of the most recent backup. We recommend scheduling backups frequently enough to prevent the loss of recent changes.
  • If you choose to back up a database under the full recovery model, you are responsible for truncating the logs.