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General Issues

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General Issues
What is SQLsafe Freeware Edition?
SQLsafe Freeware Edition is a free SQL Server database backup and recovery tool based on our award-winning SQLsafe product. SQLsafe Freeware Edition gives you a really high-performance backup and recovery engine, a scriptable interface (command line and XSP) and the ability to backup and compress any size and any number of databases, all for free.

If you want the most advanced SQL Server backup and recovery solution on the planet, with encryption, additional compression options, enterprise-class management capabilities, ’hands-free’ backup and recovery automation, and 24x7 technical support, then you can download a free 14-day trial of Idera’s award-winning full-edition of SQLsafe here.

 
What is Idera Freeware?
Idera Freeware applications are tools developed by the engineering team at Idera to alleviate common, day-to-day DBA headaches. They are yours to use anywhere you like, completely free of charge.

All the support materials that you need to install, configure and use Idera Freeware tools are provided via FAQs on the Idera website.

We’d love to hear what you think about our freeware tools, so if you have comments, feedback or ideas for other cool tools then drop us an email at freeware@idera.com.

 
Why is Idera offering SQLsafe Freeware Edition?
Because every DBA needs a high-performance backup and recovery solution that runs fast and saves lots of disk space.

And…we think that if you like our freeware edition then you’ll love our full edition (you can get a trial here).

 
How are Idera Freeware tools supported?
Idera Freeware products are supported differently than our licensed software products – support is available only via online FAQs vs. 24x7 phone support, and upgrades come when they come vs. regular maintenance upgrades.
 
Where should I use SQLsafe Freeware Edition?
Anywhere you like. However, for your really, really critical production servers, it’s probably a good idea to spend a few dollars and upgrade to the full edition of SQLsafe so that you can benefit from Idera’s world-class 24x7 technical support.
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Product Feature Questions
How do I install SQLsafe Freeware Edition?
Installation of SQLsafe Freeware Edition is very easy and takes only minutes. Simply download the product and start the install from the welcome screen. Follow the prompts in the installation wizard to complete the installation. If you need help getting started using the product, refer to the product Quick Start Guide.
 
How do I use SQLsafe Freeware Edition to backup my server(s)?
Using SQLsafe Freeware Edition, you can backup a database in the following ways:
  1. Perform an adhoc backup using the command-line interface
  2. Perform an adhoc backup using the extended stored procedure (XSP)
  3. Perform a regularly scheduled backup by creating a SQL Server Job

To perform a backup using the command-line interface, do the following:

  1. Open a command prompt window. Select Start > Run, type ‘cmd’, and select OK
  2. In the command prompt window, enter the following:

    Sqlsafecmd backup <name of database> <path and filename of backup filename>

    For example:
    Sqlsafecmd backup northwind c:\backup\northwind.safe

For a complete list of all command-line parameters, please refer to the CLI Guide found in the Start > Programs > Idera > SQLsafe > CLI Guide

To perform a backup using the extended stored procedure (XSP), do the following:

  1. Open Query Analyzer or SQL Server Management Studio
  2. Enter the following:

    DECLARE @Returncode int
    EXEC @Returncode = [master].[dbo].[xp_ss_backup] @database = “Northwind”, @filename = "c:\backup\northwind.safe"

For a complete list of all XSP parameters, please refer to the XSP Guide and XSP Samples found in the Start > Programs > Idera > SQLsafe > XSP

To perform a regularly scheduled backup of a database, create a SQL Server Job using either the CLI or XSP examples shown above.

 
How do I restore a database using SQLsafe Freeware Edition?
Using SQLsafe Freeware Edition, you can restore a database in the following ways:
  1. Perform an adhoc restore using the command-line interface
  2. Perform an adhoc restore using the extended stored procedure (XSP)
  3. Perform a regularly scheduled restore by creating a SQL Server Job

To perform a restore using the command-line interface, do the following:

  1. Open a command prompt window. Select Start > Run, type ‘cmd’, and select OK
  2. In the command prompt window, enter the following:

    Sqlsafecmd restore <name of database> <path and filename of backup filename>

    For example:
    Sqlsafecmd restore northwind c:\backup\northwind.safe

For a complete list of all command-line parameters, please refer to the CLI Guide found in the Start > Programs > Idera > SQLsafe > CLI Guide

To perform a restore using the extended stored procedure (XSP), do the following:

  1. Open Query Analyzer or SQL Server Management Studio
  2. Enter the following:

    DECLARE @Returncode int
    EXEC @Returncode = [master].[dbo].[xp_ss_restore] @database = “Northwind”, @filename = "c:\backup\northwind.safe"

For a complete list of all XSP parameters, please refer to the XSP Guide and XSP Samples found in the Start > Programs > Idera > SQLsafe > XSP

To perform a regularly scheduled restore of a database, create a SQL Server Job using either the CLI or XSP examples shown above.

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What are the key differences between SQLsafe and SQLsafe Freeware Edition?
 
SQLsafe Freeware
SQLsafe
High performance SQL Server backup engine
Scriptable interface (command line or Extended Stored Procedure)
Intelligent data compression algorithm
Optimized for speed
Option to optimize for speed, size or data type
Support materials and documentation on Idera website
24/7 support via comprehensive support site, email, live chat and live phone assistance
 
Product maintenance contract for bug fixes, upgrades, phone support, etc.
 
Choice of four encryption methods to ensure security of backup data
 
Striped backup to enable faster parallel I/O processing
 
Central management console with real time execution and monitoring of backup operations
 
IntelliRestore™ technology, enabling rapid visual restore to a defined point in time
 
Backup and restore wizards to provide ease of use
 
Web console (anywhere, anytime access from a Web browser)
 
Policy-based backup to apply the same backup schedule across multiple servers or databases
 
Automated deployment of backup engine to servers across the enterprise
 
Central repository of backup and recovery information and metrics
 
Tivoli Storage Manager Integration
 
Comprehensive reporting
 
Evaluation copies available
n/a
Yes, Free for 14 days
Price
Free
$995 per managed SQL Server instance
 
What compression options does SQLsafe Freeware Edition offer?
It offers one compression option – an intelligent compression algorithm that selects the best approach for backup speed.

The full edition of SQLsafe offers many more compression options that optimize compression for speed, backup size, type of data and other stuff.

 
Does SQLsafe Freeware Edition support encryption of backups?
No, sorry, encryption is only available in the full edition of SQLsafe.
 
What type of user interface is provided for SQLsafe Freeware Edition?
An easy-to-use, scriptable interface than you use via the command line or extended stored procedures. No GUI for managing backups across multiple databases or servers though – that’s in the full edition.
 
What information does SQLsafe Freeware Edition provide about backup and recovery operations?
SQLsafe Freeware Edition provides confirmation of successful backup or restore operations when you run it from the command line interface or extended stored procedures. If you run it in a job, then status information is provided through the SQL Server agent.
 
Does SQLsafe Freeware Edition install any code on the database server?
Yes, it installs a tiny little backup agent, and optionally a simple XSP on the server that hosts the SQL Server Instance. You don’t need to install any additional databases, tables, stored procedures etc. Also it runs outside the SQL Server address space so there is no interference with SQL Server operations.
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Technical Questions
What are the system requirements and prerequisites for SQLsafe Freeware Edition?
Microsoft .NET 2.0 and a supported operating system:
  • Windows 2000 SP3+
  • Windows XP (all service packs, 32- and 64-bit)
  • Windows Server 2003 (all service packs, 32- and 64-bit)
  • 32-bit backup agent on x64 platform is not supported
What Windows security permissions are required?
Your Windows logon account must have local Administrator permissions.
 
What SQL Server security permissions are required?
Your Windows logon account must be a member of the sysadmin fixed server role on the SQL Server instance.
 
What versions of Microsoft SQL Server does it support?
Pretty much everything from 7.0 SP4 onwards:
  • SQL Server 7.0 SP4
  • MSDE 2000 SP3+
  • SQL Server 2000 (all versions and service packs, 32- and 64-bit except SQL Server 2000 on x64)
  • SQL Server 2005 Express
  • SQL Server 2005 (all versions and service packs, 32- and 64-bit)
What do I do if the SQLsafe backup or restore operation fails and returns this error: “0x80070008 (not enough storage)”?

CAUSE:

This error indicates that SQL Server has run out of storage in its “MemToLeave” memory area. This memory area is set aside for all extended stored procedures, COM/OLE Automation objects and linked servers. The memory size is static and is set at the startup of SQL Server. Memory allocations by SQL Server larger than 8 KB are also made from the MemToLeave area.

When performing a backup in SQL Server, SQLsafe makes a call to create virtual device buffers. In SQL Server 2000, all of the buffers must be able to fit into one contiguous chunk of memory. If the MemToLeave area is heavily fragmented, SQL Server generates a “not enough storage” error due to a lack of contiguous memory. The probability of this issue occurring is greatly reduced in SQL Server 2005, which requires only that each individual buffer be in a contiguous chunk of memory.

RESOLUTION:
A. Reduce the size of the buffers. This can have a negative performance impact, but will resolve this issue. This will only affect backup operations. For restore operations, the buffer size is set by the backup archive file being restored.

B. If you are using a large number of threads during a backup, this increases the number of memory buffers required during a backup. You should reduce the number of threads being used by the backup operation. This can have a negative performance impact, but will resolve this issue.

Please implement A, then B in order. Perform a backup test between each resolution to determine if an individual workaround has resolved the behavior.

STEPS REQUIRED TO PERFORM EACH RESOLUTION:

A. To reduce the size of the buffers SQLsafe requests:

  1. Stop the SQLsafe Backup Agent service on the computer where backup are failing with the “not enough storage” error.
  2. On the same computer, click “Start” and then “Run”.
    Type “regedit” and click “OK”.

    NOTE: In order to avoid potential operating system issues, always backup your registry before making any changes.

  3. Edit the “HKLM\Software\Idera\SQLsafe\Backup Agent\VDIMaxTransferSize” DWORD value. "VDIMaxTransferSize" is the maximum input/output size issued to the Virtual Device Interface for data transfer. Enter a new value between 65536 (decimal) and 1048576 (decimal). Please note that the value MUST be a multiple of 1024. The default value is 100000 (hex). As a starting point, we suggest half of that – 80000 (hex). This value may have to be lowered further, depending on the memory remaining and memory fragmentation in SQL Server’s MemToLeave memory area. The optimal setting for this entry will depend on your environment.
  4. Restart the SQLsafe Backup service.

B. To reduce the number of threads used by the backup service:

By default, SQLsafe uses 3 threads to perform a backup, but this number can be specified in the user preferences. If the number of threads specified is raised, you should consider reducing it. This will result in a lower memory requirement during backup operations. To reduce the number of threads used during a backup operation:

  • If your backup is being performed via the command line, please add the "-threads 1" (no quotes) parameter to the command.
  • If your backup is being performed via T-SQL, please add the "@threads = 1" parameter to the backup command.

NOTES:

  • It is also possible to increase the size of the MemToLeave memory area in SQL Server directly. This requires a restart of the SQL Server, as it is a startup parameter.
  • Under some circumstances this error can be delivered by the operating system and can indicate a problem with the physical disk to which SQLsafe is attempting to write an archive file. This has been reported to occur on both a local RAID array and a SAN in conjunction with hardware issues or failures.
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How do I manually install or uninstall the SQLsafe extended stored procedures (XSPs)?

Permission Requirements:

To successfully install the SQLsafe XSPs, you must be able to log onto the target SQL Server instance through Query Analyzer. Your logon account must be a member of the "sysadmin" role to successfully connect to the SQL Server instance and install the SQLsafe XSPs.

If there is a previous install of the SQLsafe XSPs on this SQL Server instance, you must uninstall the stored procedures and unload the DLL from SQL Server memory.

To uninstall the previously installed SQLsafe XSPs:

  1. Start Query Analyzer and connect to the target SQL Server instance.
  2. Unload the DLL from memory using the following T-SQL script:
    USE [master]
    DBCC SQLSafe_ExtendedStoredProc (free)
    GO
    If this step fails, stop and restart the SQL Server service, and then execute the script again.
  3. Drop the extended stored procedure(s) using the following T-SQL script:
    EXEC sp_dropextendedproc 'xp_ss_backup'
    EXEC sp_dropextendedproc 'xp_ss_restore'
    EXEC sp_dropextendedproc 'xp_ss_verify'
    EXEC sp_dropextendedproc 'xp_ss_list'
    GO
  4. Delete the SQLsafe_ExtendedStoredProc.dll from the "\binn" folder on each SQL server instance.

To install the SQLsafe XSPs:

  1. Copy the SQLsafe_ExtendedStoredProc.dll from the SQLsafe install location (default is "C:\Program Files\Idera\SQLsafe") to the following locations:
    <SQLserver instance install path>\MSSQL$<SQLServerInstanceName>\Binn folder on each named instance
    <SQLserver default install path>\MSSQL\Binn folder on the default instance

    By default, the SQL Server install path is C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server.

  2. Run the following script to register the SQLsafe XSPs with SQL Server:
    USE [master]
    GO
    EXEC sp_addextendedproc 'xp_ss_backup', 'SQLSafe_ExtendedStoredProc.dll'
    EXEC sp_addextendedproc 'xp_ss_restore', 'SQLSafe_ExtendedStoredProc.dll'
    EXEC sp_addextendedproc 'xp_ss_verify', 'SQLSafe_ExtendedStoredProc.dll'
    EXEC sp_addextendedproc 'xp_ss_list', 'SQLSafe_ExtendedStoredProc.dll'
  3. Use the following script to grant a user the ability to backup and restore data using these extended stored procedures. Any user will need to use the stored procedures for backups and restores must have execute permissions on these XSPs. When you execute this script, replace [mydomain\jsmith] with the domain and logon name of the appropriate user account.
    GRANT EXEC ON [master].[dbo].[xp_ss_backup] TO [mydomain\jsmith]
    GRANT EXEC ON [master].[dbo].[xp_ss_restore] TO [mydomain\jsmith]
    GRANT EXEC ON [master].[dbo].[xp_ss_verify] TO [mydomain\jsmith]
    GRANT EXEC ON [master].[dbo].[xp_ss_list] TO [mydomain\jsmith]

    NOTE: The SQLsafe XSPs run using the account under which SQL Server runs. This means that the SQLsafe XSPs can access only the network resources that the SQL Server can access. However, if your backup script writes backup files to network shares, you can pass the appropriate credentials to the SQLsafe XSPs using the @windowsusername and @windowspassword XSP parameters.

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