Friday, 13 October 2017

Purging old backup files by using forfiles windows tool

It is well know that most backup strategies include a step to purge backup files to keep the most recent backups in the database server so that the disk space can be used properly. It is of paramount importance to schedule this task inside a SQL job in order to avoid running out of space. Today I am going to share a script to do that that uses forfiles windows tool via cmdshell. This script is within a stored procedure which has some input paramaters such as the database name, backup type, drive, and retention days.

USE [master] 
CREATE PROCEDURE [dbo].[sp_DBA_Backup_FilesCleanup] (
@DatabaseName VARCHAR(200),
@BackupType VARCHAR(100),
@DriveName VARCHAR(1), 
@RetentionDays VARCHAR(4))

    DECLARE @strcmd VARCHAR(4000)
    DECLARE @directory VARCHAR(4000)
    SET @directory=@DriveName + ':\SQLBackup\' + @DatabaseName --+ '\'  + @BackupType 
    SET @strcmd='forfiles /p "'+@directory+'" /s /d -'+ @RetentionDays +' /c "cmd /c del /q @path"'
      -- print @strcmd
    EXEC master.dbo.xp_cmdshell   @strcmd 

The logic deletes old backups files located on a path with this pattern '<Drive>:\<BackupDirectory>\<DatabaseName>\<BackupType>'. For instance, if we want to delete Full + Diff + Log Backup Files of the database 'MyDB' older than one week and supposing that those backups files are located on the drive 'G' then the full path would be 'G:\SQLBackup\MyDB\Full' for Full Backups, 'G:\SQLBackup\MyDB\Diff' for Differential Backups, and 'G:\SQLBackup\MyDB\Log' for Log Backups. So, using the following stored procedure and according to the example above, we should execute it with the following parameters:

USE [master] 
EXEC dbo.sp_DBA_Backup_FilesCleanup  @DatabaseName='MyDB' , @BackupType='FULL',@DriveName='G', @RetentionDays='7'
EXEC dbo.sp_DBA_Backup_FilesCleanup  @DatabaseName='MyDB' , @BackupType='Diff',@DriveName='G', @RetentionDays='7'
EXEC dbo.sp_DBA_Backup_FilesCleanup  @DatabaseName='MyDB' , @BackupType='Log',@DriveName='G', @RetentionDays='7'

That is all for now. Let me know any remarks you may have. Stay tuned.

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HELLO, I'M PERCY REYES! — a book lover, healthy lifestyle lover... I've been working as a senior SQL Server Database Administrator (DBA) for over 20 years; I'm a three-time awarded Microsoft Data Platform MVP. I'm currently doing a PhD in Computer Science (cryptography) at Loughborough University, England — working on cryptographic Boolean functions, algorithmic cryptanalysis, number theory, and other algebraic aspects of cryptography. READ MORE