When planning your SQL Server backup strategy, select the backup method that is the best tradeoff between backup and restore time, depending on the size of your database. For example, full backups take the longest to perform, but are the fastest to restore. Differential backups are overall faster than full backups, but take longer to restore. Incremental (transaction log) backups are the fastest, but are generally the slowest to restore.
Generally, it is faster to restore differential backups (with few, if any transaction logs) than it is to restore a full backup (with many transaction logs). This is because the restoration of transaction logs have to play back each transaction when restored. If a transaction took 5 minutes to run, it will also take about 5 minutes to run again when the transaction log is restored.
For fastest backups, we recommend performing a disk backup to a local drive/drive array, then moving the backup file(s) remotely.
The selected database recovery model should also play a role in your choice of backup method and frequency. If you are using the Simple Recovery model:
Use only Database-Complete backups.
Depending on how frequently the data changes and how critical it is, you should execute at least one full backup a day.
This should occur during off-hours when there is minimal database use.
If you are using the Full or Bulk-Logged Recovery model:
Option 1 -- use Database-Complete and Transaction.
Option 2 -- use Database-Complete, Differential and Transaction.
A full backup should be created at least once a day.
Transaction log backups should occur every 15 minutes.
Differential backups should occur every three hours.
The full backup should occur during off-hours when there is minimal database use.
The transaction and differential backups should be on a set schedule based on when your full backup occurs.