One of the decisions you need to make is whether or not you will use Microsoft s implementation or code your own. Both have specific uses and advantages. Whether you are using a custom configuration or the built-in feature, you can log ship between all versions of SQL Server 2000 because the file formats and on-disk structures are the same. If an incompatibility that would not allow you to log ship from one version to another is introduced in a SQL Server service pack or some other hotfix , this will be documented. This section details the technological considerations. If your constraints are somewhat cost- based (that is, you might not be able to afford or do not need the functionality of SQL Server 2000 Enterprise Edition), you must code your own solution. The technical reasons for coding your own log shipping usually boil down to the following three points for most IT shops :
You need to use an alternate protocol such as File Transfer Protocol (FTP) to send the transaction log backups to other servers. Microsoft s implementation uses a simple copy.
You need to compress the transaction log backups that are made. The built-in solution does not involve compression at all, and it cannot be incorporated. A third-party product such as SQL LiteSpeed or PKZIP is needed. In some cases, this might shorten the time it takes to copy and possibly apply the transaction log.
You want a fully scriptable configuration process. Although the Microsoft implementation is built on stored procedures, you cannot set it up using stored procedures. You must use the Database Maintenance Plan Wizard.
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For more information on coding a custom log shipping solution, see the section Creating a Custom Coded Log Shipping Solution later in this chapter.