How do I archive old data in SQL Server?

How do I archive old data in SQL Server?

Archiving allows you to get rid of the old or the irrelevant and invalid data from the main production databases. Even though there is no specific command or tool that could help you archive a database, there are still a few ways that could allow you to archive your old data in SQL server.

By archiving the old data, you are allowing your databases to be smaller and manageable. This helps you index, backup and restore data any time and keep it stored in a safe database.

A common benefit of archiving your old data is that it saves a lot of storage space on your devices and you see great performance on your systems.

Depending on the needs of a business, you can either choose to delete all the unwanted data, or you can copy the same to a safe location and delete the data from the original database.

For the sake of implementing an archival process, well, you should know that it’s not complicated actually. There are a few steps that are involved in this process.

Archiving in SQL

Archiving in an SQL server requires few instructions that need to be followed. Since there is a partition of data made and then it is archived, it’s obvious that the whole process does require understanding. The whole archive process starts by exporting the data from the source of data to a staging area where the database should be residing on a different SQL server.

To finalize the same archiving process, the exported data is further backed up.

Usually, there are a bunch of problems that the admins face while data archive tasks. A common challenge of archiving is the impact it could have on the database.

A lot of times, the admins require approvals and a lot of extra time to archive the data. And if they don’t get it, the business gets affected. There are instances when you may not always be archiving just a single table. There is a need to understand how tables are related to each other and how to sequence your delete or archival process.

Archive old data in SQL server

One of the best solutions is to try out table partitioning. It is actually a great solution and since it is affordable, you can try it a lot. There are a lot of benefits of an archive table and it provides transparency to the users and their queries. It may be complex to implement or might require the assistance and constant monitoring that could be a bit of extra work for a beginner.

And if that’s okay, here are some of the considerations:

  • Is your old data static or does it get updated often?
  • Do the queries return the old data regularly or is it not accessed frequently?
  • What is the growth rate of the table?
  • Are you able to modify the application code and its SQL queries?
  • These are some of the important considerations that are going to have a significant impact on your archiving process. If all the answers are favorable, you might as well continue the archival process.
  • There is one more thing that you need to consider.
  • In case you are using the transactional replication to maintain a reporting database, the data would be deleted from the reporting databases as well when you run the archival stored procedure.
  • And if that is something that you didn’t want, then you can even consider publishing the stored procedures and even customize the archiving stored procedure on the subscriber so that it doesn’t do anything.