We have several very large databases (1-3 TB), and full backups are taking far too long and interfering with other processes.
All but one of these databases already use multiple filegroups, so someone suggested backing up each filegroup individually instead of doing a full backup.
My question is this: Can we still restore differential backups without any full database backup? In other words, is there any fundamental difference between restoring all filegroups for a database and restoring a full backup? One particular concern is that the size of the differential backup will continue to grow without a full backup. I am hoping it will only reflect differences in each filegroup since that filegroup was backed up.
If it matters, we are using SQL Server 2008.