Log Shipping

Applies To: Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2

In scenarios where AD RMS logging is considered a critical service, and potential loss of log information needs to be minimized as much as possible, keeping a warm AD RMS database is a potentially desirable alternative.

With SQL Server, one possible way to deploy a warm standby database is through the practice known as log shipping. The term “log” in this case refers to the SQL Server transaction logs, which are used as a temporary buffer of write operations on the databases, not the AD RMS logging database. The process consists of creating a replica of the initial database on a remote server and periodically sending copies of the transaction logs for their application to the remote instance of the database. As the transaction log size is inversely proportional to the time between transaction log backups, shipping logs frequently to the remote server is typically not a problem. A common practice is to send the log copies every minute or every few minutes to the remote location and apply them to the remote database after a predefined time period. This enables not only up-to-the-minute recovery, but also recovery to other points in time. This is useful in situations where application level or operational errors can lead to database corruption, since it allows recovery of the database up to the last moment it was known to be healthy, by skipping application of the logs that can possibly contain the corrupt data.

While log shipping is a very useful solution where the risk of AD RMS logging information loss needs to be minimized, given that AD RMS logging information is not critical to the continued operation of the service, this configuration is not typically implemented. Traditional database backups are considered sufficient in most scenarios. However, It is often used to keep a warm standby of the AD RMS configuration database, and, in such situations, including the AD RMS logging database in the process might not add much complexity (including the AD cache database in the log-shipping process would not add much value, as all the information in that database is temporary, dynamic and is reconstructed automatically in the absence of a fresh copy).

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