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SQL Server 2008: Administration in Action by Rod Colledge

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10.4. Online piecemeal restores

Consider a very large, multi-terabyte database in use 24/7. One of the challenges with databases of this size is the length of time taken for various administration tasks such as backups and the effect such operations have on database users.

One of the advantages of using multiple filegroups is that we're able to back up individual filegroups instead of (or as well as) the entire database. Such an approach not only minimizes the user impact of the backup operation, but it also enables online piecemeal restores, whereby parts of the database can be brought online and available for user access while other parts are still being restored.[] In contrast, a traditional restore process would require users to wait for ...

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