Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Backup files are stored in a folder automatically given the name spbr and four numbers (usu-
ally numbered incrementally in a backup location), along with a table of contents file (usually
named spbrtoc). If you want to archive the backup elsewhere, you must keep the table of
contents file and the backup folders together. And do not alter the files within the backup folders
themselves in any way.
Backups are very resource intensive, so be sure to run them outside of peak production hours,
especially since backing up uses the VSS Writer service; it is a good idea to keep activity on the
databases at a minimum while they are being backed up. Also keep in mind that the timer job to
run a backup is considered a one-time timer job. If the backup fails for some reason, you may have
to go to the Timer Jobs page and delete the failed backup timer job in order to run another backup.
When a backup is started, you’re taken to a Backup And Restore status page, where you can
see what is happening during the backup. This also occurs during restores (of course), so you
can see, in real time, the backup progress, success, or failures.
For more details on backing up SharePoint, see Chapter 13.
Also keep in mind that it is a good idea to back up other SharePoint components, such as the virtual
directories and metadata used by SharePoint in IIS, SSL certificates (if you have any), as well as
the SharePoint hive 14 folders to back up any customizations you might have made (like adding
features and solutions).
This process comes in three steps and has a few caveats. Each backup you do is contained in its
own folder, with its own XML file to record what files are in the folder. The Restore process uses
that XML file (usually called spbackup.xml) to identify all those backup files in the correct order
and their exact location in relation to itself. Therefore, the restore won’t work if any of the files have
been moved to a location that the XML file does not expect. This means that if you need to move the
backups, instead of moving the individual backup files, move the folder they are contained in. Or
better yet, make a copy of the entire directory where the backups are so you preserve the backup
history of the location with spbrtoc.xml, and retain each backup folder in its pristine state.
Because the restore is so dependent on that folder structure, it makes sense that the first step
would be pointing to the backup location to find backup history file. In Figure 11.53, you can see
that it defaults to the last successful place a backup was saved to.
Once you’ve pointed to the backup location and clicked Refresh (if the last place you backed
up isn’t already being displayed), it will read the backup history file and display the list of
backups that can be restored from that location.
From there you select the backup you want to restore and click Next to go the next page.
In step 2, you select the components of the backup you want to restore (this looks very much
like step 1 of a backup). It is in step 3 of the restore process that you specify whether you want to
restore configuration and contents or just configuration settings (Figure 11.54). It is there that you
identify what kind of restoration this will be. One of the nice things about full farm backups is
you have the entire farm’s components to choose from when restoring. In addition, if you have an
incremental backup to restore, you need to restore the most recent full farm backup first and then
the incremental one. Notice that although it was a full content backup, you can restore just the
configuration settings. You didn’t need to do a configuration backup to do a configuration restore.
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