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This is an updated version of my blog entry "SQL Server Data Consistency Levels with VCB Backups" from more than a year ago, and vSphere 4.1 and the VMware vStorage APIs for Data Protection have changed things up a bit.


The chart below summarizes the current state of data consistency levels, when using VMware vStorage APIs for Data Protection with vSphere 4.1 for Windows/SQL Server backups.


SQL 7SQL 2000SQL 2005SQL 2005 SP2SQL 2008
Windows 2000Crash ConsistentCrash ConsistentCrash ConsistentCrash ConsistentNot Supported
Windows 2003Crash ConsistentApplication ConsistentApplication ConsistentApplication ConsistentApplication Consistent
Windows 2008Not SupportedNot SupportedNot SupportedApplication ConsistentApplication Consistent


Not Supported:

Microsoft does not support this combination of Windows and SQL Server. A combination unsupported by Microsoft.


Crash Consistent:

This is the state in which a system would be found after a system failure or power outage.


Application Consistent:

This is the state in which all databases are in-synch and represent the true status of the application.  In the table above, the light green represents a software snapshot provider (Windows 2003) and the dark green represents a hardware snapshot provider (Windows 2008).


As with all things backup, you should always verify the restores periodically to ensure the intended result can/will be achieved.


Note: This information is valid as of May 17, 2011 for VMware vStorage APIs for Data Protection and vSphere 4.1 editions.


As always, thanks for reading.