Backing up System Databases

System databases contain information about user databases as well as meta-data about SQL Server, SQL Server Agent, jobs, alerts, DTS packages and more. Therefore, it is crucial to have valid backups of the following databases:

  1. Master
  2. MSDB
  3. Model
  4. Distribution (if using replication)

Another system database, tempdb, is rebuilt each time SQL Server is started. Therefore tempdb does not need to be backed up. The Model database serves as a blue-print for creating new user databases. This database should not have any activity associated with it, other than the database administrator adding or removing objects required in all user databases. Therefore, you should typically use the SIMPLE recovery model for the Model database and only perform full backups for it.

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