A story, or will pay anybody five pounds to remove database from one computer to another

Today I needed to download a recent backup of a database from a server in the data centre for testing major changes to the database locally…  Things don’t really go as well as I expect:

  1. Backup is 12GB.  Yike, that’s going to take ages to download!
  2. OK, so let’s zip it.  20 minutes later… we have a 2GB zip file.  Well, that was worth doing.
  3. Now copy (encrypted) zip to a server with HTTP access (much faster than downloading over SSH).  About 1 minute (yep, nice fast network in the data centre)
  4. Download zip to database server on local network.  Takes about 45 minutes.
  5. So try to unzip on server with Win Server 2003 Zip tool.  Huh.  It doesn’t support files > 4GB (plus it’s running low on disk space, so a bit of a juggling act to have enough space to unzip anyway).
  6. OK, move the zip file to a client machine.  5 minutes on LAN
  7. Unzip locally then move 12GB backup back to server.  Best part of an hour.  Yes, it’s a slow client machine and the LAN is only 100mbit.
  8. Try to restore to SQL Server.  Oops, old version of SQL Server on that server.
  9. So install SQL Server 2008 on another server.  That takes 45 minutes (including adding .NET framework).
  10. Can’t do anything with it until we have patched SQL Server.  So download and run SQL Server 2008 SP3.  20 minutes to download.
  11. Installer starts while I’m not at computer, automatically cancels when screensaver starts (consent.exe)
  12. Drat.  Download SQL Server 2008 SP3 again as IE has deleted installer from cache.  This time I save the service pack installer.  20 minutes.
  13. Finally! Install SQL Server 2008 SP3.  10 minutes.
  14. Restore database to new server.  5 minutes.

And finally it works.

Why do the little things take so much energy?

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