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SharePoint Archiving Authors: Liz McMillan, Andreas Grabner, Jim Kaskade, RealWire News Distribution, Kevin Remde

Related Topics: Microsoft Dynamics , SharePoint Archiving Journal, Microsoft Developer

Opinion

Backing Up SharePoint Effectively

In-depth look at some of the technical challenges of backing up SharePoint

SharePoint Archiving Journal

As your data becomes more integrated into the way your company does business, properly maintaining that data is now more important than ever.

The recent exponential growth in business data collection/production has caused a major logistical headache for companies that need to maintain this data and ensure that the right information can be located quickly & easily when needed.

Although Microsoft SharePoint helps simplify document management, corporate communications, and project collaboration, much of the sophistication that makes SharePoint so incredibly useful can also become a challenge when it comes to data protection and business continuity.

Because SharePoint stores data to SQL databases, traditional flat-file backup software treats the database as a single, gigantic file. A major disadvantage of this flat file approach is that it can’t offer fine control or granularity.

If you only need to recover a small subset of data within the database, you must load the entire file. It’s an all-or-nothing proposition.

When looking for a specialized backup solution for SharePoint, you should look for something that can support the right level of granularity for your business. This way, you can specify backup policies based on entire portals, top-level sites and even subsites. You can also specify policies for individual items such as attachments, contacts, folders, events, lists, announcements, or almost any other logical class of data.

Until recently, this has been a fairly difficult challenge with significant drawbacks. Because SharePoint locks the database to all changes, no work can be done to the database's documents while backups are being performed.

This means that backups need to be scheduled for a time when nobody is using the database.

In order to avoid this problem, it helps to use backup software that can integrate directly with SharePoint's administrative features.

One way this can be done, is by allowing the software to actually log into SharePoint as a user. This way, the software receives access privileges in the same way that a normal user would. By doing this, the SQL backups can occur at any time of day regardless of who else is using the server.

Through this approach, you’re able to back up all relevant metadata, security settings and version histories. This way, you can restore each file, along with all of its associated attributes.

With regulations such as Sarbanes Oxley, companies are also required to keep a close eye on what data they keep, who sees it, and how the data is used. A SharePoint-specific backup solution makes it easier to respond to a data audit, and avoid potential legal penalties for non-compliance.

If backing up your SharePoint data is causing you headaches, it might be time to look into a SharePoint-specific backup solution.

If you have any further questions about how to back up your SharePoint servers, please leave a comment below. We’d be glad to respond.

More Stories By Steven Rodin

Storagepipe Solutions are a leading provider of online data protection for business. Services include business continuity, email archiving, data archiving, and online backup.