Log Shipping is simply the best!

For robust High Availability and/or Disaster Recovery projects Log-Shipping is my ALL TIME FAVORITE option.

Log-Shipping is the idea that you take your -already there- backups and restore them on any number of other SQL Servers. This means it works with all versions of SQL Server, and all edition.

There are no overheads on the production server that is being protected and the standby server(s) are fully open to use between restores. For example you could schedule restores to a reporting-server out of hours.

Compared to the complexity, restrictions, over-head, and manageability of other more fashionable HA/DR options its a “no-brainer” for me.

For example Mirroring, is only one prod-server to one (read-only) standby server, Replication is high maintenance and flattens referential-integrity, and AlwaysOn Availability Groups is difficult to setup correctly and near-impossible to troubleshoot.


** UPDATE ** It is best to log ship between the same versions of SQL Server.

SQL 2005 to SQ 2008 for example will look like its worked, but all restores will be skipped *Unless you use no-recovery mode*.