Ways to improve native SQL database backup and restore times:
- Backup your databases with compression: I/O is typically the bottleneck, this shifts some of the work to CPU.
- Change your storage configuration: Store backups locally or on higher-performance SAN
- Backup your databases to multiple files (stripes): This might depends on your specific storage and network configuration, but I’ve found 4- and 8-stripe backups and restores in our environment complete 2x-10x faster than single-stripe backups. Certainly worth some testing.
- Make sure instant file initialization is enabled: Helps you carve out the space for restoring files very quickly
- Reduce the size of the database: Drop old tables, etc. When possible, of course.
- Shrink away empty space: All the appropriate warnings and caveats about shrinking apply, of course.
- Enable page or row compression: Makes the database files smaller, so less to write upon restore.