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Option with STSADM

Posted on 2013-01-29
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Last Modified: 2013-02-14
General Question, I am thinking of using STSADM.EXE to make Backup of Sites on a sharepoint server, and then using an offsite backup service like Carbonite, Crashplan, Etc. To back them up in the cloud.

The idea being if the server/building has a problem, I can pull the STSADM file and crack it open some way and work on restoring the data.

What is the feasibility of this? What would I need to do the restore? I imagine I would need at least a spare machine running WSS or something similar.
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Question by:tmcombs
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by:Yagya Shree
ID: 38831587
You should use disaster recovery options mentioned in below link

SharePoint Server 2010 - 10 Steps to Disaster Recovery
http://blogs.msdn.com/b/uksharepoint/archive/2011/08/31/sharepoint-server-2010-10-steps-to-disaster-recovery.aspx

Or

Do a google for SharePoint disaster recovery
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by:tmcombs
ID: 38831900
@yagyashree thanks for the link, but I was more interested in the specifics of what I could use STSADM backup files for.
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by:Yagya Shree
ID: 38832032
STSADM backups can be performed manually or you can create a batch file. After that you can use it in windows task schedular to happen automatically.

Similar for STSADM restore, you can not automate it. This you will have to perform manually specific to filename/Date/Time.
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by:BobHavertyComh
ID: 38832057
I'm not sure I understand the question above. You use the backup files for restoring SharePoint. If SharePoint dies or if it's database gets corrupted, you will need the backup file to restore it. You can also use a SharePoint backup file and add it to the SQL database as a new content database and then associate a site collection to use that content database, but I believe that in that scenario, you lose your created by, modified by.....metadata and instead everything will show up as added by the user who used the restore file to create a new content database. Sorry if I didn't understand your question.
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by:tmcombs
ID: 38832168
I think I phrased it incorrectly. So, my idea is that I use STSADM to make what I think of as a "ball of wax" backup of the sharepoint site. and then offsite back it up to another computer elsewhere.

I was thinking what would be the steps and trials of what I needed to do to restore that backup file to another sharepoint server (like say if I purchased a plan out of an emergency at rackspace), or if there are tools that can scrape the inside of the file like there are for dead/dismounted exchange stores.
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by:BobHavertyComh
ID: 38832379
I believe that a restore will only work on the server that was backed up. However, you can use the backup file to add a new content database to the SQL Server that stores the configuration and content databases for the other SharePoint site. However, the created by and modified by data will not show up and instead all items will show up as created by the user who added the content database. I had a situation where the content database got corrupted and the restore wouldn't work because a windows update or something else changed something on that server. So I did what I said above and it worked.

If you merely want to change the server that hosts the SharePoint site at some point and are not in a crash situation, consider SharePoint's migration tool in Central Admin. Theoretically, you could also identify the site's databases via the SQL Management Studio, copy them, and add them as new databases in the new SharePoint site's SQL database. Then you can configure the new SharePoint site to use those database files for it's content and configuration. But I believe the migration option in central admin would handle all of that for you.
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by:tmcombs
ID: 38836463
@BobHavertyComh

So, if I loose the computer hosting the site and SQL databases(they are on the same box) (say the office and server gets sold to a company that immediately formats it and makes it an apache server) the STSADM backup file I made isnt going to do me much good if I try to just restore it to a different machine in my office.
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BobHavertyComh earned 200 total points
ID: 38839907
Actually, I might have been mistaken. Perhaps you can do a full restore on a brand new machine.

http://sharepoint.stackexchange.com/questions/45722/moving-the-sharepoint-2010-configuration-database-to-a-new-db-server

But, it looks like you might not be able to do a restore on the new server for the configuration database if you look at a comment below the article. This is what I remembered as well but perhaps this has changed. But, if it can't do the restore, you might instead be able to add the configuration database to the new server and then point SharePoint to use this new configuration database instead of the one that was created by default during new server installation of SharePoint. As mentioned above, you can definitely do thius with the content database and at least recover all of your content. But without the old configuration database file, you will lose your usernames, created by and modified dates. So everything will show up with thye same creation date and username as the creator, which will be administrator or whatever user added the content database.
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by:tmcombs
ID: 38890968
@BobHavertyComh

Thanks, usernames and datestamps were an after thought. I was more worried that if I lost the SP DB and there was an excel file or something that only lived in a document repository somewhere how I could get that file back.

I am going to have to think harder and longer about their calendars and lists next.
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by:BobHavertyComh
ID: 38891485
If you just want your docs, all you have to do is to use the backup file to create a new content db in SQL on your new server, rather than using it for a restore. So if you have that, you haven't lost any documents. An important thing to understand is that SharePoint does not stores it's documents as files, like a normal file system does. Instead, it stores it as database info, and then rebuilds the doc when someone wants to see it. As far as calendars and lists, what you need to understand is that there are two components to these. One is your content database, which stores the data to populate the list, and second it's field definitions which are used to actually build the list to hold the data, which are contained within the xml files on the server's file system. If you did any custom features on your past site, you will loose these because even though you now have the content database up, it needs the feature and or list and or site definition files that were stored on the hard drive of the old server. But, if you didn't add files to this folder that contained them, and therefore didn't create any new, custom features, then those site definition files will match the files on the new server after you install SharePoint on it, as long as it is the same version. Not necessarily the same service pack or upgrade pack, but the same major version, as in 2007, verses 2010. These xml feature files vary between the versions, so some things wont' work right or not even show up if the versions do not match. So make these two match first and recover what you can, and THEN consider any upgrades to the new system.


Thanks and good luck.
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