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Geodatabases created at version 8.3 are under what is known as the multiple database model. This includes an SDE database, where repository information is stored, and one or more user databases. These user databases store the business, F, S, and i tables, while the SDE database stores the repository information (metadata) for the spatial data. The combination of the user databases along with the SDE repository database collectively make up an ArcSDE geodatabase.
It is possible to continue to use the multiple database model at version 9.0 and higher, but keep in mind that it is not the default for the ArcSDE Post Installation wizard. ArcSDE 9.0 and higher geodatabases created by the Post Installation wizard are created to be self contained under the single database model. This means that each database contains the repository tables as well as the business, F, S, and i tables, making each database its own ArcSDE geodatabase. Each database also has a unique service pointing to it that runs on a unique port number.
To ensure that there is no data being edited or loaded within the database, the administrator can check to see if there are users connected and temporarily shutdown the service. Try to perform this at a time of day when there is a low volume of users on the network, just as you normally would do with backing up the database. Keep in mind that there could be users connected via direct connect; shutting down the service will not prevent these users from reconnecting.
sdemon -o info -I users -i <service> -p <sde_password>
sdemon -o shutdown -i <service> -p <sde_password>