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Speed Database Recovery With Instant File Initialization

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SQL Server 2005 introduced a feature called Instant File Initialization. While this feature is not enabled by default, it allows SQL Server to perform data file creation-modification operations much …

SQL Server 2005 introduced a feature called Instant File Initialization. While this feature is not enabled by default, it allows SQL Server to perform data file creation-modification operations much faster. In the case of database restores, SQL Server does not have to first zero-out the allocated disk space for the database data files. Instead, SQL Server leverages the used disk space as is and overwrites as new data is written to the files. Microsoft disables this feature by default because the database files may contain old data that resided on the hard drives prior. This is not data that causes SQL Server any issues, but should someone get their hands on the raw data files, they may be able to mine them for information. It’s something to be aware of, despite the great performance benefits.

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  • 1. Speed Database Recovery With Instant File Initialization Adapted from the Expert’s Perspective Webcast with David Gugick SQL Server DBA Professionals Global Marketing
  • 2. SQL Server 2005 introduced a feature called Instant File Initialization 2 It allows SQL Server to perform data file creationmodification operations much faster. In the case of database restores, SQL Server does not have to first zero-out the allocated disk space for the database data files. Instead, SQL Server leverages the used disk space as is and overwrites as new data is written to the files. SQLDBApros
  • 3. Microsoft disables this feature by default because the database files may contain old data already on the drive 3 This is not data that causes SQL Server any issues, but should someone get their hands on the raw data files, they may be able to mine them for information. It’s something to be aware of, despite the great performance benefits. SQLDBApros
  • 4. Improvements in performance could mean the difference between restores taking a few seconds and restores taking tens of minutes The performance benefits improve as the size of the database increases. While zeroing out the space does clear previous data, there is a significant performance cost to those write operations. A 50% improvement in restore time is common. However, you may see much more improvement—an order of magnitude, for example. Ten Incredibly Painful Backup and Recovery Mistakes 4 SQLDBApros
  • 5. You'll need to add the SQL Server Service Account to the list. This feature is enabled via a permission setting for the SQL Server service account (SE_MANAGE_VOLUME_NAME)—the Perform Volume Maintenance Tasks security policy. You can manage this setting by running SECPOL.MSC from the Windows Start-Run menu option and navigating to Local Policies – User Rights Assignment, and opening the Perform Volume Maintenance Tasks option. You'll need to add the SQL Server Service Account to the list. Ten Incredibly Painful Backup and Recovery Mistakes 5 SQLDBApros
  • 6. Learn More View Original Post Avoid Backup and Recovery Mistakes – Watch Webinar Here 6

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