Managing Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 backup files

Learn how Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 manages backups, and where MOSS maps backup data on your file system.

When the SharePoint backup completes, the corresponding backup files are placed on the file system in the designated path. If you're familiar with SharePoint Portal Data Backup and Restore, you'll notice that the collection of files is very different. Figure 7.5 shows an example backup file collection. There are two main pieces. One is the spbrtoc.xml (SharePoint Backup Restore Table of Contents) file. The other is the folder that contains...

all the backup data for that particular backup.

7.5
Figure 7.5 The SharePoint backups are organized in the spbrtoc.xml file, while each backup instance gets its own sequentially numbered folder. (Click on image for enlarged view.)

Let's take a closer look at how SharePoint manages the backup data. First, Figure 7.6 shows the contents of the spbrtoc.xml file. You'll notice that the information maps very closely to the diagnostics shown at the conclusion of the backup process.

7.6
Figure 7.6 The spbrtoc.xml file contains information about each backup that has taken place. (Click on image for enlarged view.)

More interesting are the actual contents of the backup folder. Figure 7.7 shows the files associated with a full farm backup. Again, for SharePoint Portal Server 2003 users, notice that the backup files no longer map to the specific SQL Server databases. The backup files (file extension .bak) are segmented across a collection of files. A log file, spbackup.log, gives details on the executed backup process. All of this is managed by another xml file, spbackup.xml.

7.7
Figure 7.7 SharePoint spreads its backup information across a collection of .bak, .xml, and .log files. (Click on image for enlarged view.)

The spbackup.xml file contains all the parameters and attributes needed to perform SharePoint backup and restore actions. Figure 7.8 shows a sample xml file. The top section, SPGlobalInformation, contains data on the executed backup. It maps very closely to the data stored in the top-level xml file. The subsequent nodes under SPBackupNode map to specific components selected using the Backup interface. This file provides a road map for the potential restore of SharePoint data. Notice that unlike the manifest file used in the previous version of SharePoint Portal Server, this xml file contains no specific references to portal URLs or database servers. This makes it easier to use these files, unaltered, to restore SharePoint on different servers.

7.8
Figure 7.8 The spbackup.xml file contains the parameters and attributes needed to perform a restore. (Click on image for enlarged view.)

WARNING: Do not modify the spbackup.xml file. Doing so can corrupt your backup and/or your restored farm in an unrecoverable manner.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Introduction
- Part 1: Creating a Microsoft SharePoint disaster recovery operations document
- Part 2: Understanding Microsoft SharePoint Server backup and restore options
- Part 3: Using the Microsoft SharePoint Server 2007 backup tool
- Part 4: Managing SharePoint Server 2007 backup files
- Part 5: Using the Microsoft SharePoint Server 2007 restore utility
- Part 6: Scheduling a Microsoft SharePoint Server 2007 backup
- Part 7: What's not covered by a Microsoft SharePoint Server 2007 backup

This chapter excerpt from Essential SharePoint 2007, by Scott Jamison, Mauro Cardarelli, and Susan Hanley, is printed with permission from Addison-Wesley Professional, Copyright 2007.

Click here for the chapter download or purchase the book here.

This was first published in October 2007

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