Backup and Restore in SharePoint 2010
Written By: Arshad Ali -- 10/21/2010 --
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Categories: Configurations, Infrastructure, SharePoint 2010, SharePoint Foundation 2010, System Administration
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So what are the 'out of the box' Backup and Restore options available in SharePoint 2010?
How do we backup the
SharePoint farm, web applications and different components? How have Backup and Restore processes
have improved from previous versions of SharePoint to SharePoint 2010?
As a SharePoint Administrator, you need to set up a backup plan so that you
can restore your SharePoint farm or SharePoint web applications without any
hassles if a disaster happens or even to create a replica of your
production environment for QA and development purposes.
Backup and restore functionalities in SharePoint 2010 have matured
tremendously from previous versions. Now you can backup and restore farms
as well as web applications from the Central Administration more easily. You can even take granular backups.
For example, you can take a backup of any
specific site collection from the Central Administration. You can export
site content to the file system and import it into another site.
And yes. now
you don't need to setup another temporary farm to just restore some content from the backup, you can simply restore
a content database on any SQL
Server instance and then use the unattached content database recovery feature
from Central Administration to restore the selected content.
This tip discusses the Backup and Restore of a SharePoint farm, web applications and
from the Central Administration as well as from PowerShell and the STSADM
Backing-up SharePoint farm
from the Central Administration
Go to START
-> All Programs -> Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Products -> SharePoint 2010
On the left side, click on the Central Administration
link and in right side, in the detail pane, you will see Backup and Restore
options as shown below.
You can also directly click on the Backup and Restore
link in the left side to go to Backup and Restore page as shown next.
On the Backup and Restore
page, you can see two sections, Farm Backup and Restore which allows
you to take backup of SharePoint farm and web applications and also restore
them when required. You can even see the status of any running backup and restore operations
and also view the history of any backups taken so far on the
specified location. (I will be talking about Granular Backup in more
detail in a future tip).
Click on the Perform a backup
link under Farm Backup and Restore to start the backup operation. You
need to make sure SharePoint 2010 Timer (used to send notifications and
perform scheduled tasks for SharePoint) and SharePoint 2010 Administration
(used to perform administrative tasks for SharePoint) windows services are
running or else you will not be able to perform backup and restore
On the first step, you can select either to backup a whole farm or
an individual web applications or components from it. In this example we
a backup of a whole SharePoint farm. After selecting "Farm" we see all the components
within it by default get selected.
On the second step, you can
re-define the components you are going to take a backup of. Next you
need to define backup types. i.e. full backup or differential backup (which you
can take only if you have taken at least one full backup beforehand). A differential
backup combines the changes which happened since the last full backup. If your
content database is not that huge, it is recommended to setup for full backup
only which would be easier during a restoration. If you have a very large database, then
you can combine these two backup types for reduced backup time and less
storage. With restoration, you need to restore the latest full backup first
followed by the latest differential backup.
By default both
configuration settings and content databases are backed up as part of backup
operation, though if required you can choose to backup only the farm
configuration. And finally you need to specify a backup location where a
folder will be created and backed up components will be stored. On the
bottom section of the next screen you can see the estimated disk space required for the selected backup
Click on the Start Backup
button to create a timer service job which will run in the background and take
this backup. As I said before you need to have both the SharePoint 2010 Timer
and SharePoint 2010 Administration windows services are running.
On the Backup and Restore
Job Status page, you can monitor the status of your backup or restore
job (pictured below). In this case, 43 items have been backed up out of total
192. This page gets refreshed every 30 seconds to reflect current information
but you can also refresh it by clicking on Refresh link.
Default Backup and Restore
Settings page allows you to specify the number of threads which will be used
during a backup operation and the number of threads which will be used during
restore operation. By default it is 3 threads -- if the number of threads
performance would be higher but it would consume more resources. Also going
through the logs generated by these higher number of threads would be a little
Next you can specify the default backup location, each timer job
will create a new sub folder and store the content within it.
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