Backing up SSAS – Yes or No?

A question came up recently about how to back up SSAS. The vast majority of my clients do not back up SSAS. This isn’t appropropriate for all deployments, though. Here’s the thread:

This runs contrary to customary SQL server practice, but :

You may want to evaluate whether you back up the SSAS servers at all. I have several clients for whom there already was a robust SQL backup (and/or HA) in place. For these clients it turned out that it was quicker to rebuild straight from SQL than it was to load and restore SSAS from file based backups.

In such cases it’s more important to have the metadata (the XMLA script or BIDS solution) than to have the data itself. For most of these clients we don’t worry about metadata because we’re using source code control software of one form or another.

Obviously this approach would be less viable for larger SSAS installations. On the other hand, I’ve been frequently surprised to learn that the rebuild was faster, especially when off-line or off-premise backups are involved.

Tom

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