Learning how to Backup your vBulletin and SQL Database

Backup is very important especially if you are the administrator of an important website. In case of a catastrophe, all the content of your website will be removed, therefore all that you and your users have worked on for a given period can be considered lost. Since backup is very important in order to assure a certain degree of peace of mind, within the article we shall discuss about how to backup your vBulletin database, and how to backup your SQL database.

Backing up vBulletin

In my opinion, there is nothing easier than backing up your vBulletin database. Since there is not any coding involved, all you have to do is be somewhat familiar with the process and you can consider yourself safe. Backing-up your database from the vBulletin Options section is performed by clicking the designated option – with this app you will be able to both backup a board or simple move it and install it from one website to another. This becomes very useful if you just changed domain names, or hosting, and you want to move your website without too much hassle.

In order to backup your database, first go to Maintenance and click the Database Backup options. A user-friendly screen will appear that will present you with two backup methods. One of them will give you the option of including tables in your backup (this means that you will have an output of the designated tables) – select all tables by clicking the “All Yes” option. The other option implies backing up your database on the server meaning that you will basically be saving all your files online (on the designated spot on the server).

From this point on, you can consider your vBulletin database backed up – as you can see, the process is simple, and requires no special skills (maybe some PHP programming for chmod)

Backing up SQL Databases

If you administer a database, one of your main concerns should be data security. One of the most efficient ways to guarantee this is to perform regular SQL server database back-ups. The way SQL Servers perform the data back up is by moving data into some sort of backup device such as an external hard drive. Any sorts of data can be back-ed up the database itself, transaction logs or independent tables.

There are two ways of creating a back up in a SQL Server environment: using a Transact – SQL command or thorough the New Backup Device item. The New Backup Device item can be accessed by going to the Backup Devices item you will find in the Server Manager section. Another way to get to the New Backup Device dialog window is by accessing the Backup/Restore menu. If you want to create a back up using the Transact – SQL command, use this command line:

devicessp_addumpdevice {'disk' | 'diskette' | 'tape'},
   'logical_name', 'physical_name' [, {{cntrltype [, noskip |
   skip [, media_capacity]]} | {@devstatus = {noskip |

The label of the back up device (or the dump device) is the “logical_name” parameter in the syntax above. The location of the file which is to be created is the “physical_name”. Use the noskip/skip options to tell the SQL Server to recognize ANSI labels which marks possible expiration dates and permissions for the tape device. The other parameters (cntrltype and media_capacity) in the syntax are present to ensure backward compatibility.by labeling NULL the physical device, and adding a disk dump device, you will create a Null dump device.

When the SQL Server is installed, it creates a default Null dump device: “Diskdump”. Be careful: you will not recover the data later if you dump to this or any Null device (if you, for example, dump a transaction log to a Null device, you will empty that respective transaction log). Assigning a null device by a database dump is very important if you want to be able to recover the database. An initialization of the device is imperative before you can dump data to it.

You can chose to initialize that device again after you have dumped data to it. The current contents will be erased if you initialize a backup device after a dump has been made to it. The “sysdevices” system table holds information about the back up device. The backup devices can be the disk, a diskette A, a diskette B or a tape device. When you create a disk file as a backup device, the SQL Server will store the file’s name, but the file itself will not be stored until you have initialized the device.You can remove at anytime a backup device by choosing the “Delete” option from the Server Manager window.