SQL Log Shipping

For a low cost opportunity for database high availability, you may wish to consider Log Shipping.

Similar to replication, the primary purpose of log shipping is to increase database availability by maintaining a backup server that rapidly replaces the production server.


  • DISASTER RECOVERYProvides a disaster-recovery solution for a single primary database and one or more secondary databases, each on a separate instance of SQL Server.
  • READ-ONLY ACCESSSupports limited read-only access to secondary databases (during the interval between restore jobs).
  • USER-SPECIFIED DELAYAllows a user-specified delay between when the primary server backs up the log of the primary database and when the secondary servers must restore (apply) the log backup.A longer delay can be useful, for example, if data is accidentally changed on the primary database. If the accidental change is noticed quickly, a delay can let you retrieve still unchanged data from a secondary database before the change is reflected there.

Tech Overview

Log shipping involves recorded changes to a database (logs) being queued on a primary server.

These logs are then transmitted at specified intervals and applied to the secondary server. This ensures that a 'warm' database is maintained and can be made available quickly should the primary database suddenly become unavailable.

With Log Shipping the failover is manual, making it an ideal low cost option for situations where 100% uptime is not absolutely critical or where connection speeds between the primary and secondary servers are not sufficient for other options.

One limitation however with Log Shipping is that due to logs being queued for backup, there is a window where data loss is possible. Where this is not acceptable we would urge you to consider the other high availability options.

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