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Backup strategy

  Asked By: Alexandria    Date: May 02    Category: Sharepoint    Views: 861

We currently have a two server small configuration in place, but we're planning on deploying a larger server farm consisting of two front end servers, two search/index servers, and two clustered SQL nodes and the challenge I am faced with is determining the most appropriate backup strategy. Currently, we are relying on backing up the SQL DB's and would probably just do a restore of the front-end box if it crashed.

With our new deployment targeting a larger environment and consisting of new resources, I'm trying to come up with a new way to protect our data. My initial thoughts were to continue with our SQL backups as well as implementing a scripted STSADM solution in order to cover site specific backups. In addition, we are planning on deploying the Sharepoint Recycle Bin ISAPI filter to mitigate single file losses.

There are two areas that I'm still concerned with: first, what process do people go through (if any) to cover object specific restores other than ISAPI filter usage? For example, if someone deletes a calendar or document library, is there a way to restore that object without restoring the entire site? Also, my second question relates to the SPS backup utility to cover entire farms. Has anyone used this? If so, should it be a valid portion of my data protection strategy? I'm leery of using this if it will require large disk resources and not provide anything in addtion to the steps that we're already taking.



5 Answers Found

Answer #1    Answered By: Renee Murray     Answered On: May 02

In regards to the question:
what process  do people  go through (if any) to cover object specific  restores other than ISAPI filter  usage? For example, if someone deletes a calendar  or document  library, is there a way to restore  that object  without restoring  the entire  site?

We run a scripted stsadm  to backup  all of our top level sites on a nightly basis. If someone deletes a document or library  we simply restore the entire top level site   to another virtual server  that I have marked for restores. I can then take the deleted information and port it back to the live environment. After thats complete I simply blow away the recovered data  and I can do this over and over again as needed to the recovery site.

SQL backups  are also taken nightly by our DBA group... I believe they are running Incremental with Fulls on the weekend.

Answer #2    Answered By: Harshini Raju     Answered On: May 02

So can I assume by your post that you do not use the SPS backup  and restore  utility at all?

Answer #3    Answered By: Christop Mcfadden     Answered On: May 02

No but you CAN assume that the current environment  I am supporting does not use Portal Server. :)

I simply addressed one part of your question. Im sure others will have other insights. This is my solution  for WSS. Works like a champ.

Answer #4    Answered By: Gopal Jamakhandi     Answered On: May 02

So, from your perspective, is the Portal backup  utility worthwhile? What advantages does it have over a standard database/server backup?

Answer #5    Answered By: Chantal Rosa     Answered On: May 02

portal has a bit different supportability..


don't use sql  (enterprise manager) backup  its not that realistic of a strategy  anyhow (imho). Do end  users call you and say, "I just created this document  3 hours ago and now i need to go back to the 2 hour ago version and I don't have versioning turned on the document library" kind of thing? or is it "there was a file  there yesterday and today its not!" kind of thing? The second is 99% of our requests. To spin up our DBAs to roll transaction logs just for a single  file/list restore  seems a bit.. err much!

There are 2 types of backups  I do -

1. Entire portal - I liken this to the .ISO image of the portal. this is achieved by calling spsbackup.exe through visual basic, scheduled daily (email me for script)
2. WSS - use a script from the resource kit that enumerates all sites then backs them up with a different file name for each top level site  collection, it calls to stsadmin -o backup (please consult the sps  resource kit)

portal backup runs at 10pm daily. takes 1.2 hours to get all 24gb to disk.
WSS backup runs at 4am daily. takes 1.6 hours for same amount of data
-yes our backup people  look at our total portal and see that its 24 gb and don't seem to understand why every day they back up 48gb worth of data!

I set all the database recovery models to simple. these 2 backups are the poor mans way but they work (yes i have used both recoveries and monthly restore the portal to another location for testing of DR) and the ONLY dependence is that they get restored into the same domain.

We have:

medium farm
2 web/index
1 job
1 sql server  active passive cluster with iSCSI backend (NetApps).

i hope this makes you more confident in the tools that came with the product!

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