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Plan for business continuity management (SharePoint Server 2010)

 

Applies to: SharePoint Server 2010, SharePoint Foundation 2010

Topic Last Modified: 2011-08-05

Business continuity management consists of the business decisions, processes, and tools you put in place in advance to handle crises. A crisis might affect your business only, or be part of a local, regional, or national event.

Features of Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 are likely to be part of your business continuity management strategy, but your overall plan should be much more comprehensive and include the following elements:

  • Clearly documented procedures.

  • Offsite storage of key business records.

  • Clearly designated contacts.

  • Ongoing staff training, including practices and drills.

  • Offsite recovery mechanisms.

In this article:

Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 includes the following capabilities that support business continuity management.

  • Versioning   Users can lose data by overwriting a document. With versioning, users can keep multiple versions of the same document in a document library. In the event of an unwanted change, an overwritten document, or document corruption, the previous version can easily be restored by the user. When versioning is enabled, users can recover their data themselves.

    For more information, see Plan to protect content by using recycle bins and versioning (SharePoint Server 2010).

  • Recycle Bin   SharePoint Server 2010 includes a two-stage Recycle Bin. Users who have the appropriate permissions can use the first-stage Recycle Bin to recover documents, list items, lists, and document libraries that have been deleted from a site. Site collection administrators can use the second-stage Recycle Bin, also called the Site Collection Recycle Bin, to recover items that have been deleted from the first-stage Recycle Bin. When the first-stage Recycle Bin is enabled, users can recover their data themselves.

    For more information, see Plan to protect content by using recycle bins and versioning (SharePoint Server 2010).

  • Records Center   Records Center sites support managing records storage for legal, regulatory, or business reasons. For more information, see Records management planning (SharePoint Server 2010).

  • Backup and recovery   You can use Windows PowerShell cmdlets or the SharePoint Central Administration Web site to back up and recover farms, databases, Web applications, and site collections. There are also many external and third-party tools that you can use to back up and recover data. For more information, see Plan for backup and recovery in SharePoint Server 2010.

  • Availability   No single feature provides availability within a SharePoint Server 2010 environment. You can choose among many approaches to improve availability, including the following:

    • Fault tolerance of components and the network.

    • Redundancy of server roles and servers within a farm.

    For more information about availability, see Plan for availability (SharePoint Server 2010).

  • Disaster recovery   No single feature provides disaster recovery within a SharePoint Server 2010 environment. You can choose among many approaches to improve availability when a data center goes offline, including the following:

    • Offsite storage of backups, both within and outside your region.

    • Shipping images of servers to offsite locations.

    • Running multiple data centers, but serving data only through one, keeping the others available on standby.

    For more information about disaster recovery, see Plan for disaster recovery (SharePoint Server 2010).

Business continuity management is a key area in which IT groups offer service level agreements (SLAs) to set expectations with customer groups. Many IT organizations offer various SLAs that are associated with different chargeback levels.

The following list describes common features of business continuity management SLAs:

  • Versioning

    • Whether offered.

    • Amount of space allocated.

  • Recycle Bins

    • Whether offered.

    • Amount of space allocated for the first-stage Recycle Bin and second-stage Recycle Bin.

    • Length of time that items are held before they are permanently deleted in each Recycle Bin.

    • Additional charges for recovering items that have been permanently deleted from the second-stage Recycle Bin.

  • Backup and recovery

    Backup and recovery SLAs usually identify objects and services that can be backed up and recovered, and the recovery time objective, recovery point objective, and recovery level objective for each. The SLA may also identify the available backup window for each object. For more information about backup and recovery SLAs, see Plan for backup and recovery in SharePoint Server 2010.

    • Recovery time objective (RTO) is the objective for the maximum time a data recovery process will take. It is determined by the amount of time the business can afford for the site or service to be unavailable.

    • Recovery point objective (RPO) is the objective for the maximum amount of time between the last available backup and any potential failure point. It is determined by how much data the business can afford to lose in the event of a failure.

    • Recovery level objective (RLO) is the objective that defines the granularity with which you must be able to recover data — whether you must be able to recover the entire farm, Web application, site collection, site, list or library, or item.

  • Availability

    For each component within a farm that is covered by an availability plan, an availability SLA may identify availability as a percentage of uptime, often expressed as the number of nines — that is, the percentage of time that a given system is active and working. For example, a system with a 99.999 uptime percentage is said to have five nines of availability.

    noteNote
    When calculating availability, most organizations specifically exempt or add hours for planned maintenance activities.

    For more information, see Plan for availability (SharePoint Server 2010).

  • Disaster recovery

    For each component within a farm that is covered by a disaster recovery plan, an SLA may identify the recovery point objective and recovery time objective. Different recovery time objectives are often set for different circumstances, for example a local emergency versus a regional emergency.

    For more information, see Plan for disaster recovery (SharePoint Server 2010).

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