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SharePoint Recovery Management

SQL Server Data Managementfor SharePoint

DocAve SQL Server Data Manager for SharePoint Recovery

SQL Server Data Manager allows organizations to:

  • Granularly restore SharePoint content

    from existing SQL Server backup files with full fidelity
  • Minimize downtime and data loss

    with fast recovery of the entire SQL Server database or granular SharePoint content

When companies first deploy SharePoint, they often rely upon SQL Server backups to protect their SharePoint content. But when it comes to SharePoint backup and recovery, the inability to restore at the item-level makes otherwise fast recoveries burdensome and inefficient. AvePoint's DocAve SQL Server Data Manager for SharePoint is the answer, delivering full fidelity, item-level restore capabilities directly from SQL Server backups. This component complements the AvePoint DocAve Backup and Restore module, which delivers the comprehensive item-through-platform level protection for organizations running mission-critical businesses demand.

All Microsoft, All the Way

As with all AvePoint software, DocAve SQL Server Data Manager utilizes only fully supported Microsoft methodologies and APIs.

DocAve SQL Server Data Manager Tool Features

Screenshot Tour:

SQL Server Data Manager Home Screen

SQL Server Data Manager Home Screen

Granularly Select Content for Restore

Granularly Select Content for Restore

Restore Wizard

Restore Wizard

Here's a breakdown of features you'll find in AvePoint's DocAve SQL Server Data Manager, as well as those available in the DocAve Backup and Restore module.

  Features DocAve SQL Server Data Manager DocAve Backup and Restore
Restore Item, site, and site collection level restores from SQL Server backups check mark  
Fast recovery of entire SharePoint platform   check mark
Backup Granular backup capability(to optimize storage resources)   check mark
Automated backup plan creation according to content business importance   check mark
Protection of IIS Settings   check mark
Enables synchronous backup of all farm components   check mark
Protection of Global Assembly Cache (GAC)   check mark
Protection of Hive   check mark
Protection of front end Web Server configurations and customizations   check mark
Protection of any Service Applications and associated configurations   check mark
Protection of Fast Search configurations   check mark

AvePoint's DocAve SQL Server Data Manager for SharePoint is the precise and powerful tool organizations need to leverage their SQL Server backups effectively and efficiently. But the next question to ask is: Is this enough?

Do SQL Server backups provide enough protection for my SharePoint deployment?

Many organizations running SharePoint rely solely upon SQL Server's native functionality to backup and, when needed, to recover both content and the platform itself. Without a solution that enables full-fidelity, item-level restores from SQL Server backup images (something like AvePoint's DocAve SQL Server Data Manager), this can prove quite burdensome and inefficient.

But even if you do have such a tool, is this enough? Well, the answer is: It depends. Let's go step-by-step over what SQL Server backups and restores can deliver, and why even having item-level restore capabilities might or might not be all you need, given your deployment and how important it is to your organization.

    • SQL Server backups derived from SQL databases contain all of SharePoint's Content Databases, Configuration Database(s), and Administration Database(s).
    • SQL Server captures these elements asynchronously, meaning that potentially the images of the elements are not captured at the same time. This means, for example, that the most recent backup of your Content Database might not be 'synchronized' with the most recent backup of the Configuration Database.
    • IIS Settings
    • The Global Assembly Cache (GAC)
    • Hive
    • Any Front-End Web Server Settings and Customizations
    • Any Service Application configurations
    • Fast Search configurations
    • Web Parts, custom features, and SharePoint Solutions
    • Any of SharePoint's "look and feel" customizations (e.g. Master Pages settings, Site Themes)
  • When your production platform fails – due to natural disaster, corruption, or otherwise – your primary objective is to get the environment back online as fast as possible. When relying upon your SQL Server image to recover, here are some issues you will face:

    • You must first reinstall the operating system (Windows Server), SQL Server, and SharePoint.
    • You must then restore the imaged Content Databases, Configuration Databases, and Administration Databases to SQL.
    • You must manually create each Web Application, then manually connect each restored database to the new Web Application(s).
    • All of your IIS settings will have to be manually reconfigured. This will take several hours.
    • The Global Assembly Cache must be reconfigured with all of the associated settings, solutions, and customizations particular to your production environment. This will usually take several hours.
    • The Hive is automatically created when SharePoint is reinstalled, but it will need to be manually configured for your production environment. This will take several hours.
    • All Front-End Web Server Settings and Customizations must be manually configured and/or rewritten.
    • All SharePoint Solutions and "look and feel" customizations must be manually reconfigured/reinstalled.
    • All incompatibilities resulting from SQL Server's asynchronous imaging of the assorted databases. These incompatibilities must be manually discovered and rectified.

    As a result, recovering from a SharePoint platform failure using only a SQL Server backup makes the process very tedious, labor-intensive, and highly prone to human error.

Why is the ability to perform granular backups important when it comes to SharePoint data protection?

To understand, let's take a look at SQL Server backups from another perspective…namely, its impact on your storage and system resources. For this analysis, let's focus on the capabilities of SQL Server backups during the actual backup process.

    • In short, not granular at all. SQL backups take snapshots of the entire SQL database.
    • First, it means that you cannot create a multi-tiered backup strategy that assigns more aggressive backup plans to more business-critical or more frequently modified content (such as SharePoint sites containing financial data), and less aggressive plans to less business-critical and/or modified content (such as SharePoint sites containing company vacation information). As a result, you are required to backup your entire SQL database as frequently as required by your most important content. (In our example, the financial data.) If this content needs to be backed up once per day, that means you must backup the entire SQL database at this frequency, even if nothing else requires such aggressive protection.
    • Second, using SQL Server backups means that you are unable to tier your storage resources based on the criticality of your various SharePoint datasets, or by how often it is being modified. Your one SQL Server image must sit in storage whole and complete. Depending on how big your image is, and how often you are making images, this can become very costly.

    Now that we have an understanding of the capabilities and drawbacks of SQL Server backups for SharePoint data protection, let's list out some key questions every administrator should ask themselves when deciding if SQL Server images are a potent enough strategy for their organization:

    • If my production SharePoint environment goes down, how fast do I need to get a new production environment established?
    • According to my established service level agreements (SLAs), how quickly must I restore a deleted item, site, or site collection in the case of accidental deletion or corruption?
    • Given my storage resources and budget, how often can I afford to take (and store) a SQL Server backup?
    • Will my storage resource limitations prevent me from meeting our established service level agreements? (i.e. if I can afford to store one SQL Server backup each day, but SLA's require that I backup critical SharePoint content three times each day, how can I rectify this?)

    Every organization will have a different set of answers to these questions. And every organization must come to its own conclusion as to whether a more potent and powerful SharePoint data protection strategy is needed. Some might decide that their SharePoint SLAs allow for the time and energy required to restore their production platform manually. Some might feel that their storage and system resources allow them the ability to take SQL Server backups as often as their most critical data requires, and store it without worry or constraint.

    • SharePoint is business-critical and simply cannot be down for any extended period of time
    • IT resources are not available to manually reconstruct the production farm should platform failure occur
    • Storage resources must be optimized via granular backup strategies

    For these organizations, there is a cost-effective and powerful solution that will meet your needs. Learn more about how to deliver comprehensive and optimized platform protection with DocAve Backup and Restore.

DocAve SQL Server Data Manager Resources

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Customer Success Stories:

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  • Best Practices for Microsoft® SharePoint® Backup and Restore

    This white paper offers planning practices, guidelines, and implementation considerations for SharePoint data protection and disaster recovery, and provides proven strategies for executing these practices in accordance with your organizational needs.

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