SQL Server: Backup compression in 2008! (not!)

I was really excited to see that Microsoft has finally implemented compression for database backups in SQL Server 2008. I’ve been hesitant to purchase and implement a third-party compression package as I didn’t want to potentially break or hinder disaster recovery. So if SQL 2008 includes native compression support, perfect!

I downloaded the MSDN iso and installed it to test the compression. After the install completed, I pulled up the Server Manager, chose “Backup” and checked the options; sure enough, there is a setting to compress the backups. So I grinned and started the backup process.

*screeching halt!* I got an error message: “Compression is only available on Enterprise and Developer versions.” Really? Are you serious? So people who can’t afford Enterprise are once again out of luck. I’d begun to believe that Microsoft had turned a corner when they included mirroring and log shipping in 2005 Standard; guess I was wrong.

Really, Microsoft, this is inexcusable! Backup compression and encryption should be standard in all versions of SQL Server, especially considering today’s strict laws about information theft.

Guess I’m back to looking for a third-party tool. I ran across an interesting one today called HyperBac — if they can deliver half of what they promise, it may be worth the money. And the cost of HyperBac will be an order of magnitude cheaper ($2k versus $22k) and HyperBac will also encrypt the backups for greater security.

While I’m happy I may have found a solution, I am very disappointed in Microsoft for their decision to disable compression in Standard.

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