The Log Shipping availability option typically provides lower cost automated transaction log backup and restore functionality, which provides redundancy at the database level. SQL Server provides the underlying framework for doing automated backup, copy and restore of transaction log files. SQL Server 2008 provides a sub-minute scheduling interval providing the ability to do quick backup and restores. Backups are performed on the primary SQL Server instance and restore performed on secondary SQL Server instance(s). Scheduling is done through SQL Server Agent jobs.
As an availability strategy, the Log Shipping option does not provide any automatic failover capability and may allow some data loss, however the time synchronization interval is configurable, which gives users some level of control. (This data loss can occur due to corrupted, missing and possibly transaction log data
that was not sent to the backup log file on the secondary server.) Log shipping can be used in conjunction with failover clustering to provide a good site failure redundancy with a low cost solution. You can use SQL Server log shipping to create multiple copies of your databases that can be used as a warm standby for recovery purposes, or to provide a database that can be used for reporting and to offload reporting and query functions off of the primary server, thereby improving overall performance and providing a better end user experience of the production SQL Server.
To implement log shipping availability, you need to do the following:
1. Configure the primary SQL Server 2008 instance to ship transaction logs to the secondary server location. (You can use the SQL Server Management Studio, Transact-SQL statements, or you can run scripts using Transact-SQL to accomplish these tasks.)
2. After configuring Log Shipping, you need to verify correct operation of the Log Shipping configuration. You should also periodically monitor SQL Server Agent job activity to confirm that backup operations are being performed correctly.