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SQL Server Backup and Restore by Shawn McGehee

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Chapter 7: Differential Backup and Restore

A differential database backup in SQL Server is simply a copy of every page that has had a change made to it since the last full backup was taken. We capture, in a differential backup file, the changed data pages then, during a restore process, apply that differential backup to the last full backup, also known as the base backup, in order to roll the database forward to the state in which it existed at the point the differential backup was taken.

In my experience, opinion is somewhat split within the DBA community as to the value of differential database backups. Some DBAs seem to regard this third type of backup as an unnecessary complication and prefer, where possible, to restrict their backup strategy ...

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