Interesting Side-Effect of specifying BackupHour on BackupFull Step of the Backup BizTalk Server SQL Agent Job

With a hotfix that was introduced in BizTalk Server 2006 you can now specify the hour that you want the Backup BizTalk Server SQL Agent job to do the full backup of the BizTalk Server Databases, the default behaviour for this step of the job is to create the full database backups at change of day GMT time.  For Melbourne, Australia this means that your full backup will happen at either 10am or 11am, depending on daylight savings time, this is typically not the time you want full database backups to happen.

After the hotfix and in subsequent releases of BizTalk Server you can now specify the hour that you want the full backups create, you can also now specify on the  MarkAndBackupLog step to use local time for the log marks name that get created, so the log mark name and file date time match and additionally with BizTalk Server 2010 you can specify to use local time for the Clear Backup History step also.

The interesting side-effect that I found was that if you do not specify BackupHour on the BackupFull step and your machine, In my case a development server, was powered off for a couple of day, the first time that the Backup BizTalk Server jobs run after powering on the server a full backup is created.  If you specify a BackupHour on the BackupFull step the job continues to create only transaction logs until the BackupHour is reached.

Also in BizTalk releases prior to 2010, if your server has been off for more days than you have DaysToKeep specified (default 14), it will delete the only full backup and not create another one until the BackupHour is reached, this was fixed in BizTalk 2010 with a change to the Clear Backup History step stored procedure.

Although this side-effect will typically not effect production environment that are up and running always, it may effect other environment that are not running always.

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