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BackupExec 12.5 Sharepoint agent and sql agent

Posted on 2009-07-13
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Does the BackupExec 12.5 agent for Sharepoint backup everything needed to restore if the server failed and had to be reinstalled?  I am aware it can restore sites and documents but if a server goes down and Sharepoint has to be moved to another server or reinstalled on another server does this agent's backup allow a restore of the entire database to another server?  Do I need to use the SQL agent to backup the Sharepoint databases to achieve this.
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Question by:dmwynne
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6 Comments
 
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itgroove earned 250 total points
ID: 24846254
I have a little bit of experience with the Backup Exec 12.5 agent.
  • First off, TEST IT.  No backup is trustworthy unless the results you expect have been tested.
I can't say from experience if it will bail you out of a disaster (thankfully) but I do know from mucking with it that it takes a backup of the farm, and is aware of the SQL content Databases, etc.
I'd suggest it is important to read the documentation on restoring a SharePoint farm with Backup Exec and look for any caveats and warnings.
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Assisted Solution

by:Ted Bouskill
Ted Bouskill earned 250 total points
ID: 24846479
Search this site for "disaster recovery" and Sharepoint.  It's not an easy process.  The problem is Sharepoint is very complex with at least 7 databases that all work in sync and if you run a farm like mine that runs 24/7 you can't use the Central Admin backup (because it slows the site to a crawl) and trying to snapshot all the databases at the same moment in time is essentially impossible.

In my experience, the content database backups are the most important.  Also, write down all the customization you do in Central Administration sites, because in some cases all you can do is rebuild the farm manually and restore the content databases.

itgroove gave you some good advice as well.  Test your backup plan thoroughly.

One more point, don't customize Sharepoint files directly.  Use a development server and use Sharepoint Deployment Solutions which then include the customizations in the database backups.
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Author Comment

by:dmwynne
ID: 25133183
Tedbilly,

What are you using to backup your farm?  Are you backing up the SQL DB directly or using a backup util.?
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Expert Comment

by:Ted Bouskill
ID: 25136950
We are only backing up the content databases and the two configuration databases (farm and SSP)

I'm actually in a heated debate with Microsoft regarding this issue.  Our farm services over 10,000 users globally and all the databases combined exceed 2 TB.  We literally do not have enough storage space for a ful central administration backup and we've estimated it would take over 2 days to do a complete backup that way.

So, we are stuck with using SQL backups, however, Microsoft is telling us that to restore using DB's would require us rebuilding the farm manually first and a full restore using DB's isn't supported!

Microsoft made use the 'Sharepoint Customer of the Quarter' and I'm using that as leverage to get them to reconsider strategies for disaster recovery.
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by:dmwynne
ID: 25346771
Need to accept solution
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Author Closing Comment

by:dmwynne
ID: 31602865
I was able to go through a restore scenario and restore to a new server using the Backupexec backup.  Its not an easy process but it did appear to work.
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