Exploring the wonderful case of a missing database backup.

I was working on a client’s site today, setting up database backup routines. Part of which is to perform a database backup, and verify that everything went okay. I had Windows Explorer open to the location that the backup was going to. When the backup finished, I navigated over to Windows Explorer… and I have a missing database backup. There wasn’t a file in the directory for the backup that I had just performed:

After double and triple checking that I was looking at the same path that I had backed up the database to, I went in search of the network sysadmin to help me figure it out.

It turns out that this share is a Distributed File System (DFS) share. Files put on one location are replicated over to others. So even though SQL had just made the database backup, it was made to one share, and I was looking at another, where it hadn’t replicated over yet. To make things even better, I have never worked with a DFS file share before.

So how do you verify that the file is actually there? Open up Windows Explorer, navigate to the directory, select a folder (on the DFS share), right-click it, and select properties. Switch to the DFS tab, and select another node. Either double-click that node, or select the “Set Active” button. Now you will be viewing the files on that node.

I wonder what other kinds of issues I’ll find along the way with working with DFS? You can bet that I’ll let you know.

Just when you thought that they couldn’t come up with any new ways to mess with a DBA…