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Is backing up live database that is being actively used safe and consistent ? I mean will the system take a snapshot of all tables when backup starts or does it save each table content as it was when the particular table was processed ?

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AFAIK, a full backup will create a backup as at the time it starts BUT will then follow it up with a scan of the transaction log and work this into the backup too. So if your backup starts a 6pm and takes 20minutes, all the while the da, the resulting backup file(s) will be representative of the state at 6:20pm.

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