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Scheduling a Microsoft SharePoint Server 2007 backup

Microsoft SharePoint Server 2007 doesn't have a tool to schedule backups. But you can use the command line, two-stage Recycle Bin and SQL Server. Learn how.

One of the things you'll notice on the Backup and Restore pages is that there is no tool for scheduling backups. Much like SharePoint Portal Server 2003, there is no scheduling component in Office SharePoint Server 2007. This presents a problem for IT staff interested in ensuring that SharePoint backups are regularly obtained. As in the previous version, the best alternative is to use a simple batch file that executes the SharePoint backup from the command line. This batch file can then be scheduled using the native Windows Task Scheduler. We'll discuss the command-line backup options in the next section.

Command-Line Backup Tools

The stsadm.exe utility is probably familiar to users of WSS 2.0. It enables SharePoint administrators to back up site collections using the command line. This makes it easy to restore a site collection (or a single site) if necessary.

stsadm.exe still exists in WSS 3.0 and has been enhanced for Office SharePoint Server 2007. You can still use stsadm to back up a site collection as follows:

stsadm.exe -o backup
-url <url>
-filename <filename>

For example, if I want to back up my site collection that exists at http://myserver/sites/, I would issue the following command:

stsadm –o backup –url http://myserver/sites -filename c:\mybackups\

In addition, the stsadm.exe utility now lets you do a full SharePoint back up as you would with the Central Administration page (the command-line help text calls this the "catastrophic backup"). To issue a full or differential backup using the command line rather than the Web UI, simply use the following format:

stsadm.exe -o backup
-directory <UNC path>
-backupmethod <full | differential>
[-item <created path from tree>]
[-percentage <integer between 1 and 100>]
[-backupthreads <integer between 1 and 10>]

For example, to back up my entire SharePoint farm, I could issue the following command:

stsadm -o backup -directory backupssharepoint
-backupmethod full

This would perform a full backup on my SharePoint farm and write to the Backup and Restore History on the Central Administration page. Then I could use either the command line or the Central Administration UI to restore from this backup. Backups done via the Web UI or the command line are indistinguishable.

Using the stsadm utility is very useful for regular backups because you can use the Windows Task Scheduler to create a recurring backup job.

Two-Stage Recycle Bin

You are reading part 6 from "SharePoint Server 2007 backup and disaster recovery tutorial," excerpted from Chapter 7 of the book "Essential SharePoint 2007," by Scott Jamison, Mauro Cardarelli, and Susan Hanley, copyright 2007, published by Addison-Wesley Professional.
Needing to recover a single item is a more commonplace situation than having to recover from a full-fledged disaster. SharePoint now provides an "undelete" feature to allow end users to recover accidentally deleted files, documents, list items, lists, and document libraries without running a content-database-level backup and restore. This saves the SharePoint Administrator(s) time and hassle because they can easily recover files for end users without having to initiate a full-fledged backup and restore process. In fact, in most
cases, users simply recover things themselves.

When a user empties the Recycle Bin, the deleted items move to a second-level Recycle Bin, which can easily be recovered by the administrator, provided the items have not been purged.

The global settings for the Recycle Bin are part of the Web Application General Settings. These settings are accessed through the Central Administration Application Management (see Figure 7.14). The Recycle Bin settings are at the bottom of the general settings page (see Figure 7.15).

Figure 7.14 The global settings for the Recycle Bin are part of the Web Application General Settings. (Click on image for enlarged view.)

Figure 7.15 The global Recycle Bin settings enable you to turn the feature on and off and to set the retention timeframe for items. (Click on image for enlarged view.)

The Recycle Bin is a Web application setting, which means that it can only be enabled or disabled for all of the site collections served by the Web application. If you turn it on, it's available on all sites in all site collections for that Web application.

We recommend that you configure the Recycle Bin to a size that is a percentage of the overall site quota and set an "auto-clean" schedule (the default is 30 days) for permanent file removal that fits your business needs.

The first level of the Recycle Bin is the user-level Recycle Bin (see Figure 7.16), which is accessible by site users. It provides a site-level view of deleted content and contains all items deleted from a particular site.

Figure 7.16 The Recycle Bin enables an end user to restore deleted items.(Click on image for enlarged view.)

NOTE: The Recycle Bin works by capturing delete events. If items go missing due to errors, data corruption, or other problems, they will not be recoverable via the Recycle Bin. This is why a full backup process must exist. They Recycle Bin is a convenience item for users who accidentally delete a file or other item.

NOTE: The first-level Recycle Bin counts toward the site's maximum quota.

The second level of the Recycle Bin is the administrative Recycle Bin (see Figure 7.17), which is accessible by site collection administrators. It provides a site collection-level view of deleted content and contains all items deleted from a particular site collection. In effect, SharePoint administrators are no longer responsible for maintaining replica environments for item-level restores. In addition, inadvertent site deletions can be managed through the use of custom event handlers that automatically back up a site prior to deletion. Both offer significant support time reductions.

Figure 7.17 Site collection-level Recycle Bin settings are available for top-level sites. (Click on image for enlarged view.)

SQL Server Backup

Microsoft SQL Server Backup and Restore is typically used by large organizations because they already have SQL Server Tools or offsite data centers. It's also because the person/group responsible for the databases is a DBA, rather than the administrator of Office SharePoint Server. If you are in a large organization where this situation is likely, we recommend this option. We'll leave the steps to back up SQL Server to the DBA.

SQL Enterprise Manager can schedule backup tasks, which enables the DBA to automate the backup process. We recommend that the DBA(s) responsible for the SharePoint databases get proper training on the structure of the SharePoint databases.

It is important to note, however, that only the configuration and content databases get backed up. The next section describes other important items you need to back up.


 Home: 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 Microsoft 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

Essential SharePoint 2007 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.

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