American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Performs Full-Fidelity Microsoft® SharePoint® 2010 Data Recovery with DocAve®

Success Highlights

Performed restoration of deleted SharePoint sites, lists, items, and more for end users in approximately 15 minutes with full fidelity, including all metadata, securities, and version histories
Restored all document versions from a SharePoint library that was mistakenly set to only retain 5 versions of each document
Accessed SharePoint backups through DocAve without direct server access, allowing the intranet manager to recover data for end users within several hours and limit business disruption, instead of requiring direct involvement from the IT department
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American Speech Language Hearing Association

Customer Location Rockville, MD

Industry Not-for-profit

Platform SharePoint 2010

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Critical Needs

  • Full-fidelity recovery of SharePoint sites, lists, items, and other important data
  • The ability to access and recover data from SharePoint backups without direct server access and involving the IT department

The Challenge

In 2005, ASHA implemented Microsoft SharePoint 2003 to develop and house its organizational intranet. Now on Microsoft SharePoint 2010, ASHA’s staff of approximately 250 knowledge workers utilizes the platform to access important information – such as the latest company news, a centralized calendar of events, and the employee handbook – as well as take advantage of the platform’s collaborative features. SharePoint sites are made available to individual departments and interdepartmental teams so work can be shared and documents can be collaborated upon, maximizing productivity.

The organization’s use of SharePoint also extends beyond internal staff, as ASHA developed an extranet portal in order to stay connected with its large network of board and committee members. More than 1,500 individuals have been granted access to specific sites that contain up-to-date meeting documents. Similar to the knowledge workers, board and committee members quickly took to the platform, which was also used to collect data through surveys and spark discussions.

After implementing SharePoint 2003 and managing the platform for the organization, Intranet Manager Katrin Weixel realized that a more robust data protection solution would be required for ASHA’s environment, especially for data restoration. “I was able to use Microsoft FrontPage to restore content at the site level, but I needed a more flexible solution that would enable me to perform granular restorations of content at all levels quickly for our end users,” Weixel said. “Other options available to me at the time, such as SharePoint’s full database restoration abilities, would require direct access to the server, which meant a request would need to be made to our IT department, and this would have caused the restoration process to take more than one business day.”

With a need for customizable backups and the ability to perform swift restorations of SharePoint data for end users a necessity for ASHA, Weixel and ASHA’s IT department determined that a third-party software solution was required to solve the problem.

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DocAve makes it easier to support my users’ requests without needing to involve IT.
Katrin Weixel
Intranet Manager, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

The AvePoint Solution

As she attended classes, participated in webinars, and followed online discussions about SharePoint, Weixel often heard about the enterprise-class SharePoint solutions offered through AvePoint’s DocAve Software Platform. DocAve integrates more than 30 independently deployable modules which function within a unified, browser-based interface and fully distributed architecture, but can also be purchased and deployed independently. “After hearing about and reading lots of recommendations for AvePoint solutions, we arranged for a demo of the products,” said Weixel. “The demo convinced us to use the 14-day trial, and it exceeded our expectations for a granular backup solution.”

To confront ASHA’s SharePoint data protection challenges, ASHA’s IT department implemented DocAve Backup and Restore. DocAve addresses the need for a fast, flexible, and intelligent backup solution for SharePoint. The module provides full-fidelity backup and recovery, from an individual content item to an entire SharePoint environment and all of its farm-level components, maintaining all metadata, security settings, and version histories. “DocAve does such a good job retaining metadata and is simple to use,” Weixel said. “If SharePoint content needs to be restored, it typically takes no more than 15 minutes to do so using DocAve.”

While server access was not typically delegated to individuals outside of the IT department, Weixel was able to access SharePoint backups through DocAve for quicker restoration of content. “If an urgent request comes up, such as the need to restore a version of a document deleted in the live environment, I can typically tackle the request within a few hours.” said Weixel. “DocAve works like a great safety net.”

DocAve also helped Weixel when SharePoint settings caused problems for end users. In a library within one of ASHA’s team sites, an end user realized SharePoint was set to retain no more than five versions of a document at a time. With access to past backups from DocAve, Weixel was able to obtain all previous versions of the documents, change the library setting to retain all documents, and restore all deleted document versions to the library with full fidelity. “I could never have done that with SharePoint’s out-of-the box functionality,” said Weixel. “Solving the problem was so straightforward with the help of DocAve, and my end users were extremely grateful.”

The Road Ahead

With the platform being utilized as an integral tool by knowledge workers and board members alike, ASHA not only required sufficient backup of its SharePoint environment and important organizational data, it also needed the ability to restore lost or accidentally deleted data with full fidelity. DocAve not only delivered that ability to ASHA and Weixel, but it also enabled Weixel to carry out data recovery tasks for end users that did not require help from anyone else in the IT department, making processes more efficient and diminishing business interruption overall. Weixel is also able to use DocAve’s out-of-place restore ability to copy SharePoint lists across site collections. “The out-of-place restore option is what I use most often, as moving lists to other sites and site collections is a relatively common request. I can move the requested lists while maintaining all the versioning and metadata,” said Weixel

As the organization focuses on its recent upgrade to SharePoint 2010 and acclimating end users to the latest version of the platform, data recovery tasks have not ceased. This is not a problem with DocAve in place. “We are continuing to benefit from DocAve’s abilities throughout the platform upgrade,” said Weixel. “DocAve makes it easier to support my users’ requests without needing to involve IT, and AvePoint support has been incredible the few times we’ve needed it. They recently helped us solve some complicated issues. They promptly reply to every email, and they are quick to set up web meetings to discuss and help us troubleshoot and change settings. They went above and beyond, and there was a lot of work going on behind the scenes to develop two patches for us.”

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