Plan for backup and recovery (Windows SharePoint Services)

Applies To: Windows SharePoint Services 3.0


Topic Last Modified: 2009-04-15

You may want to download and print the Office SharePoint Server 2007 Data Protection and Recovery model ( that accompanies this article. It provides a poster-sized summary of the content in this article. In this article:

  • Disaster recovery

  • Migrating data

Backing up and recovering data supports many business scenarios. The most common business scenarios supported by data backup and recovery are:

  • Recovering from an unexpected failure or disaster — that is, disaster recovery.

  • Migrating data between installations as part of an upgrade or staging process.

Determine which scenarios your business requires that you address, and how you will address them.

Disaster recovery

Disaster recovery, which includes planning and preparing for how to restore your Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 implementation after a technical failure or disaster, is a key part of business continuance planning and risk management.

When you plan for how you will use backup and recovery for disaster recovery, consider common events, failures, and errors; local emergencies; and regional emergencies.

Common events, failures, and errors

Common events, failures, and errors that require you to back up or recover sites include:

  • Accidental or inappropriate deletions.

  • Software updates.

  • Hardware failure.

Circumstances that take a SharePoint site offline are best dealt with by setting up a system with redundant components that fails over gracefully. Moreover, recovering from common failures often involves a combination of redundancy, availability, and backup and recovery techniques.

Local emergencies

Depending on your need for availability, you might want to have redundant farms within your region that your system can fail over to. If you do not have redundant farms, we recommend that you store recent backups offsite so that you can quickly acquire equipment, rebuild, and restore your farm in the event of a fire, flood, or other catastrophic event. A farm-level backup is often appropriate for this purpose.

Regional emergencies

To prepare contingencies for regional emergencies, you might want to have contracts in place for emergency server rentals in another region. We recommend that you store recent backups outside of your region so that you can quickly acquire equipment, rebuild, and restore your farm. As with local emergencies, a farm-level backup is appropriate for this purpose.

Migrating data

Backups are often used to migrate to a new version, or to move data to a different server.

Migrate data to a new version of Windows SharePoint Services

One of the ways to upgrade is by way of a database migration. When you use this method, you back up and then restore your databases by using SQL Server tools. You back up the databases in the old farm, and then you restore them in the new farm. When you restore a database and add it to the farm, the upgrade process runs and upgrades the entire database. Planning for a data migration is part of the planning process for upgrading data. For more information, see Chapter overview: Plan and prepare for upgrade.

The steps in migrating a database include:

  1. Set the previous version databases to be read-only.

  2. Use SQL Server tools to perform a full backup of your content databases. You do not need to back up the configuration or component settings (search) databases because you will re-create these databases in the new server farm.

  3. Restore the backups to the new farm.

  4. Add the databases to the Web applications.

Move data to a different server

Using backup and recovery to move data to a new server is a common process. When you plan to move content between servers, consider the following:

  • Is this a one-time or frequent action? If it is a one-time action, use backup and recovery. If it is a frequent action, consider a different mechanism.

  • Is this a temporary or permanent move? If you are moving your content permanently to a new server, review the planning information at Plan for performance and capacity (Windows SharePoint Services).

Download this book

This topic is included in the following downloadable book for easier reading and printing:

See the full list of available books at Downloadable books for Windows SharePoint Services.