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Plan for data protection and recovery (Windows SharePoint Services)

Updated: July 31, 2008

Applies To: Windows SharePoint Services 3.0

 

Topic Last Modified: 2008-09-18

In this article:

Data protection and data recovery processes support the following business needs:

  • Keeping and being able to review more than one version of an item or site.

  • Capturing and recovering deleted items or sites.

  • Archiving data for legal, regulatory, or business reasons.

  • Restoring systems in the event of unexpected hardware or software failure (that is, disaster recovery).

You may want to download and print the Office SharePoint Server 2007 Data Protection and Recovery model (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=124087) that accompanies this article. It provides a poster-sized summary of the content in this article. In this article:

Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 includes the following features that provide data protection and recovery.

  • Versioning   Users can lose data by overwriting a document. Versioning enables users to keep multiple copies of the same document in a document library. In the event of an unwanted change, an overwritten document, or a document corruption, the previous version can easily be restored by the end user. The versioning offered in SharePoint Products and Technologies is often referred to as content versioning.

    Versioning does not support site versioning, although you can use other tools to capture and refer to previous versions of a site.

    For more information, see Plan for versioning (Windows SharePoint Services).

  • Recycle Bin   Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 includes a two-stage Recycle Bin. The first-stage Recycle Bin enables end users with appropriate permissions to recover accidentally deleted files, documents, list items, lists, and document libraries from a site. The second-stage Recycle Bin enables site collection administrators to recover items that have been deleted from Recycle Bins.

    The Recycle Bin does not support recovering deleted sites, although you can use other tools to capture and recover deleted sites. For more information, see Plan for capturing and storing deleted objects (Windows SharePoint Services).

  • Backup and recovery   You can use the Stsadm command-line tool 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 (Windows SharePoint Services).

In addition to using built-in features, enterprises often use the following tools to protect and recover data.

  • Site versioning   Site versioning is using a Microsoft SQL Server 2005 database snapshot to capture the current look and feel of a site. A database snapshot is not a backup. Moreover, a site that you have returned to a previous version by using a database snapshot is read-only and will not function without the current live database.

  • Protecting sites from deletion   You can write code or use a tool to detect the Web Delete event that is generated when a site is deleted, and then, at that point, back up the site by using the Stsadm export option. Detecting Web Delete events essentially creates a site-level recycle bin.

  • Other Microsoft backup and recovery tools   You can use SQL Server backup and recovery tools to protect and recover your databases. You can use Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager to protect farms, databases, Web applications, site collections, sites and documents For more information, see Plan for backup and recovery (Windows SharePoint Services).

  • Third-party backup and recovery tools   Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 can be protected by many third-party backup and recovery tools built on technologies supported by Microsoft, such as the Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS). To find third-party solutions built by Microsoft partners, visit Solution Finder (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=102834&clcid=0x409) and search for the following parameters:

    • Solution type = Software Offering

    • Product category = Microsoft Windows

    • Product = Windows SharePoint Services 3.0

    • Keywords: SharePoint, backup, restore, disaster recovery

Data protection and recovery is a key area in which information technology (IT) groups offer service level agreements (SLAs) to set expectations with customer groups. Many IT organizations offer a variety of SLAs that are associated with different chargeback levels. SLAs often vary by type of site, size of site, dedicated or shared hardware, availability of server-side customizations, whether a site is centrally managed or self-managed, recovery time objective, and recovery point objective.

The following list describes common features of data protection and recovery SLAs.

  • Versioning:

    • Whether offered.

    • Amount of space allotted.

    • Level offered (content or site).

  • Recycle Bins:

    • Whether offered.

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

    • Time items are held before permanent deletion in each Recycle Bin stage.

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

  • Protecting sites from deletion:

    • Whether offered.

    • Amount of time backups of deleted sites are held before they are deleted.

  • Recovery time objective. Recovery time objective is the goal for how long a data recovery process will take, including the interval for search to become current again. Different recovery time objectives are often set for standard circumstances, local emergency, and regional emergency.

  • Recovery point objective. Recovery point objective is the maximum amount of time between the last available backup and any potential failure point.

You should develop a data protection and recovery strategy for each site or type of site that you support. For each type of site, evaluate the following:

  • Do you need to support content versioning?

  • Do you need to support site versioning?

  • Do you need to support Recycle Bins?

  • Do you need to protect sites from deletion?

  • What level of granularity do you need to provide for recovery (farm, database, site collection, site, item)?

  • How large is your maintenance window?

  • How large are your databases now —including your content databases and Search databases —and how much and how fast do you think they will grow?

  • What is your fastest recovery time objective?

  • What is your shortest recovery point objective? What is your average recovery point objective?

For information about recommended strategies for specific site types, see Recommendations for data protection and recovery (Windows SharePoint Services).

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