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Access MDB Files and SQL Server Device Files
Written by Chris Miller on 16 August 2000
Byron Fillmore writes "I am very new to SQL server. Does SQL server hold the names of tables and queries in a single file like an Access .MDB file?"
SQL Server stores all of the objects associated with a database in at least two but possibly more files. The database itself is broken up into two pieces, the data portion and the log portion. The log is a transaction log which allows SQL Server to avoid data loss in the event of a server crash or power failure. The data file contains the tables, indexes, and other objects that SQL Server uses to store and manipulate data.
The SQL Server system administrator (sa) can configure a given database to reside in several (more than two) files so the sa can spread the data access out across several different physical disk drives or drive arrays, so the data access time will be really fast. This also allows the sa to tune backups so the backups can run more quickly.