It is possible that SharePoint (MOSS) could go down in history as one of the most popular enterprise content management systems
ever (note: we aren't saying the best, just the most popular).
This may happen even though out of the box the platform lacks some critical enterprise features. MOSS backup and recovery functionality is one good example of this.
Thanks to the partner community and other Microsoft technology teams, some of these crucial enterprise features are provided as add-ons and integrated services for MOSS.
In the case of backup and recovery, Microsoft, themselves, provide a viable solution, namely the System Center Data Protection Manager 2007 (DPM)
. With this doozy, your worst disaster recovery nightmares just might not come true.In a recent Technet interview, MVP Michael Noel, talked about how DPM helps organizations prepare a disaster recovery environment for SharePoint in addition to providing basic backup and recovery services.
The Data Protection Manager has been around for awhile
offering backup and restore functionality to more than just SharePoint
. The most recent version however, provides some key enhancements for SharePoint (MOSS) backup and restore operations.
Key DPM Backup and Restore Functions
Probably the biggest benefit of DPM is its ability to backup an entire SharePoint farm -- including the SQL Server databases, metadata within the web servers and farm configuration server and files that maintain the indexes for Enterprise Search. Backups can be automated to occur on a regular basis -- up to 4 times per hour if needed. Noel indicated that Microsoft uses the DPM for their SharePoint environment, which gives you a good idea of how it works for large sites. Data Protection Manager for SharePoint
Data recover/restore options are plentiful with DPM. You can restore your environment to a specific time or use more advanced options such as collection, site and item level restore or restoring a content database to a different location.
You can also restore a content database to a unique window and onto a tape, providing auditors with a snapshot
of the content for a specific period of time.
How Does DPM for MOSS Work?
DPM starts by backing up a baseline copy of the SharePoint environment. It then performs full backups on a regular basis utilizing the SharePoint VSS writer and underlying component VSS writers to identify blocks or fragments of the farm and content databases which have changed, sending these to be backed up.
While DPM backs up a full view of a farm for disaster recovery, System Center Virtual Machine Manager
(SCVMM) provides an easy way to provision the infrastructure for restoring the farm.
Back-up / Restore for SharePoint 2003
Don't worry, those of you lagging behind the MOSS 2007 or WSS 3.0 upgrade are still part of the family. DPM also works for SharePoint 2003 and WSS 2.0.
These older releases don't have the native VSS writers. So in these cases, DPM offers a more narrow set up functionality and backs up the content databases and metadata changes only.
Continuing with DPM
Ready to dig deeper? You can watch the entire video interview series
with Michael Noel and others, or check out the Data Protection Manager product pages
in greater detail.