Summary: While there are a lot of articles floating around the Internet on how to fix corruption in a SQL database, in this article, we will discuss 7 ways to Prevent SQL Database Corruption.
Database corruption in SQL Server does not happen frequently, but when it does, it can result in major downtime and data loss. Sometimes you will be able to detect the problem, but other times it will go on undetected till it drives you crazy. This is the reason why you have the CHKDSK option to figure out the problem and fix it.
However, a face-saving aspect is that you can prevent database problems from occurring altogether. Your SQL server is smart enough to anticipate problems and come up with solutions to fix them. You can use a multitude of tools and utilities to detect corruption and remove it from your server without any possible compromise.
How to Prevent SQL Database Corruption?
In data-driven businesses, the smallest of glitch within the organizational database can bring the entire operation down. While fixing problems is an after-thought, preventing problems is wiser. Here are the top seven ways you can implement to prevent SQL Server database corruption.
- Backup, Backup, and Backup
This can’t be stressed enough! You may have heard it a couple of thousand times already but this truly is the best safeguard against losses.
Regularly carrying out back-up procedures ensures business continuity. Backups can be of great help when databases develop problems. In such cases, backup files can be used to restore the corrupt databases, thereby preventing downtime.
Read our complete guide on backing up and restoring database SQL Server database.
2. Check Database Integrity on a Regular Basis
So, you have created your database backup. But, have you tested it? Is it usable?
Merely having your database backed up won’t help you. Rather you need a solid backup to protect against db corruption. And for that, you need to test your backup.
The most reliable way to test your backups is to regularly restore a SQL database from the recent good known backup copy, and perform a database integrity check (DBCC CHECKDB) to validate that your backup files are good. Also, you can run integrity check on newly restored database to ensure there is no issue with it.
You can automate DBCC CHECKDB after performing a database restore with the help of SQL Server Agent job or the built-in Maintenance Plan Wizard.
3. Customized Cron jobs
You can monitor your database even when you are sleeping by using the time-based scheduler utility Cron. The utility helps create jobs that can be run at odd hours.
Customized Cron jobs can be used to first detect anomalies in the database and then proceed to repair these anomalies one-by-one. Set up Csron jobs to run at regular intervals to ensure there is no lag in uptime.
4. Optimization and Regular Updates
Create scripts that will monitor and identify slow running queries in the database. Often, slow and nested queries result in database problems and an overall lag by taking up more than necessary resources. Create scripts that will identify and optimize these queries and stabilize the SQL Server. At the same time, do not forget to periodically monitor and tune-in the server for ensuring high performance.
Make sure that the connections to the server are limited and optimized. The best way to maintain the overall health of the database is to keep it updated and patched. Doing so will keep the database protected against potential threats such as SQL slammer computer worm – that affected over 75,000 SQL Servers within 10 minutes of deployment. The best way to address vulnerabilities is to check for major releases, patch updates, and SQL service packs released from time to time.
5. Graceful Shutting Down
Not properly shutting down the SQL Server can result in server abuse, especially if there are a lot of users connected to it. It is, therefore, extremely important to monitor all the users and all the connections. From time to time, perform system maintenance to detect server abuse.
6. Check the Database File Size and The Disk Space
When you’ve just started using a new SQL server, database file size will not be an issue. But over time, as the number of users goes up and so does the volume of data, there is a noticeable and, in some cases, threatening increase in the database file size.
Keep in mind that recovering a large database is more difficult than recovering a smaller one. Also, the chances of huge databases getting corrupt are higher than those of small, clean ones. Therefore, it is a good idea to split databases of large sizes and maintain multiple neater versions.
Splitting a database also helps in freeing up adequate disk space on the SQL Server. Free disk space ensures the smooth running of services. It is a good idea to constantly monitor disk space. As soon as you see that free space is slipping below the ideal value, start working on freeing it up.
7. Hardware and Software Maintenance
Regularly carry out memory checks, network monitoring, hardware-error checks, etc. to avoid bugs and hardware failures that cause SQL data corruption. This kind of preventive measures must be carried out periodically to proactively track the status of all hardware, and if the need arises, to fix all detected issues.
Along with hardware maintenance, comes the software maintenance. Virus and malware can prove extremely dangerous to your SQL Server database. Do not fall prey to such malicious attacks and constantly keep an eye out for malfunctioning of the database. Also, from time to time, check for any traces of virus/malware infections within the database and use a good software solution to keep them at bay.
Also read: SQL Database Corruption: Do’s and Don’ts to Remember
Here’s What to Do When All Else Fails
If despite following the above mentioned preemptive measures, your SQL server database falls prey to corruption, you don’t need to panic. Trustworthy and efficient utilities like Stellar Repair for MS SQL can come in handy.
This software is equipped with advanced repair and recovery techniques that can help you deal with SQL database and data corruption. It can also fix several errors caused due to database corruption like consistency error, SQL error 823, 824, 5171 and other SQL database errors in a few clicks.
The software comes packed with many other additional features and benefits, so keeping this one handy can’t hurt. This is probably the best remedy to handle database corruption in SQL Server.
We went through 7 Ways to Prevent SQL Database Corruption and hope that it will help you to keep SQL database corruption at bay and maintain a strong SQL server that never fails. But if it does, you know what to do.