Microsoft SQL Server databases provide the data storage back end for mission-critical applications. Therefore, it’s critical to protect these applications to ensure data integrity and availability for transaction processing. Nimble Storage arrays provide I/O optimization and protection features that greatly benefit SQL Server implementations. It is important to first understand some of the internal I/O processes that SQL Server uses to store data on disk. Then you can use this fundamental understanding to implement best practices for provisioning a database storage design that will optimize performance and eliminate database backup windows. Using these best practices can also dramatically reduce recovery time objectives for full databases as well as individual database objects and data after user error and system failures.