SharePoint Backup & Recovery Boot Camp: Week 2

SharePoint Backup & Recovery Boot Camp: Week 2

By Paul LaPorte | August 10, 2015

Welcome to Week 2 of SharePoint Backup and Recovery Boot Camp!

As I said in Week 1, something is going to go wrong. It always does. At Backup and Recovery Boot Camp, we treat recovery as a “When” and not an “If”.

This week, we tackle the different types of backup and how you can use them to form a comprehensive backup strategy. Backups come in different flavors: full, incremental and differential, with log files keeping track of changes along the way.

You can backup on-site or in the cloud. Backups can provide enterprise, application, or content specific protection. Backups can protect content for an individual, a department, or everything your organization puts into SharePoint. Your backup strategy, based on using some combination of these different backup techniques, is to optimally protect important data and enable recoveries, large and small.

Administrators typically create and execute backup strategies three ways:

  1. Out-of-the-box backup capabilities of either SharePoint or SQL Server;

  2. Centralized backup team that backs up everything for the organization; and

  3. Mix several backup approaches to achieve some business objectives.

Approximately 40% of administrators rely on out-of-the-box capabilities. For some people, this sufficiently provides adequate backup protection. For others, this approach is inadequate. Most people in this group report not having objective metrics to measure success, such as RPO and RTO attainment (covered in a future installment) or testing and validating backups. This group identifies with backup-as-insurance.

Another 40% of administrators report little involvement with backups-- as this function resides in another IT group--often with an infrastructure team that is responsible for backups for the entire organization. As such, this group routinely reports the least knowledge of their backup capabilities or key attributes, including backup durations, frequency, and retention periods. The likelihood of a clean and successful recovery is substantially lower for this group as they do not have established expectations and success metrics.

The final 20% spends more time on backups and related strategy, connecting them with business drivers and measuring outcomes and effectiveness. Ideally, these are best practices for all groups, regardless of whether you are in full control or using out-of-the-box tools. Mixing multiple techniques to achieve target recovery objectives is a proactive way to deliver better results while simultaneously closing the loop to continuous improvement. Taking the additional steps of testing and validating ensures backups are ready to go when they are needed and satisfies the agreed upon service levels expected by the organization.

When planning your backup strategy, set yourself up to be a hero. Communicate clear expectations and success metrics first, and then mix the available backup techniques to ensure you can meet the demands of your SharePoint users for a successful recovery.

See you front and center at the next Boot Camp!

Until then, stay sharp:


Paul LaPorte is an expert in business continuity, disaster recovery and security. He is Director of Product Marketing for Backup and Storage products at Metalogix, and previously served as Principle Strategist for Continuity Research, and as a senior executive of Evergreen Assurance, a pioneer in real-time disaster recovery for mission critical applications.

Written By: Paul LaPorte

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