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Back up web applications in SharePoint 2013

Published: July 16, 2012

Summary: Learn how to back up a web application in SharePoint 2013 by using Central Administration or Windows PowerShell.

Applies to:  SharePoint Foundation 2013 | SharePoint Server 2013 

You can back up a web application by using the SharePoint Central Administration website, Windows PowerShell, or SQL Server tools. The backup tool that you use depends on the kind of environment that you have deployed, your backup schedule requirements, and service level agreements that you have with your organization.

Before you begin

Regularly backing up a web application reduces the possibility of data losses that might occur from hardware failures, power outages, or other problems. It is a simple process that can help make sure that all the web application-related data and configurations are available for recovery, if that is required. We recommend that web application backups be created in addition to regular backups at the farm level.

Before you begin this operation, review the following information:

  • Before you begin, you must create a network folder in which to store the backups. Both the Windows SharePoint Services Timer V4 service account and the server farm user account must have Full Control permissions to this folder. For more information about how to create a backup folder, see Prepare to back up and restore farms in SharePoint 2013.

  • You can back up only one web application at a time by using the procedures in this article. However, you can at the same time back up all web applications by backing up the complete farm.

  • Backing up a web application does not affect the state of the farm. However, it does require resources and might slightly affect farm performance when the backup is running. You can avoid performance issues by backing up the web application during hours when farm use is lowest, such as outside office hours.

  • If the web application uses the object cache, you must manually configure two special user accounts for the web application after you restore the web application.

  • When you back up a web application, the Internet Information Services (IIS) settings and all content databases that are associated with the web application are also backed up.

  • When you back up a web application that is configured to use forms-based authentication, you must also use a file backup system to protect the Web.config files because the Web.config files were updated manually to register the membership and role providers, and manual changes to the Web.config files are not backed up. Similarly, Web.config files are not restored when you restore a Web application. After recovery, you must update the Web.config files and redeploy the providers. For more information, see Plan for user authentication methods in SharePoint 2013.

note Note:

Because SharePoint 2013 runs as websites in Internet Information Services (IIS), administrators and users depend on the accessibility features that browsers provide. SharePoint 2013 supports the accessibility features of supported browsers. For more information, see the following resources:

Use Windows PowerShell to back up a web application

You can use Windows PowerShell to back up a web application manually or as part of a script that can be run at scheduled intervals.

To back up a web application by using Windows PowerShell

  1. Verify that you have the following memberships:

    • securityadmin fixed server role on the SQL Server instance.

    • db_owner fixed database role on all databases that are to be updated.

      note Note:

      Alternately, the user can be a member of the db_backupoperator fixed database role on all databases that are to be updated if you do not want to assign full rights of the db_owner role.

    • Administrators group on the server on which you are running the Windows PowerShell cmdlets.

    An administrator can use the Add-SPShellAdmin cmdlet to grant permissions to use SharePoint 2013 Products cmdlets.

    note Note:

    If you do not have permissions, contact your Setup administrator or SQL Server administrator to request permissions. For additional information about Windows PowerShell permissions, see Add-SPShellAdmin.

  2. Start the SharePoint 2013 Management Shell.

    • For Windows Server 2008 R2:

      • On the Start menu, click All Programs, click Microsoft SharePoint 2013 Products, and then click SharePoint 2013 Management Shell.

    • For Windows Server 2012:

      • On the Start screen, click SharePoint 2013 Management Shell.

        If SharePoint 2013 Management Shell is not on the Start screen:

      • Right-click Computer, click All apps, and then click SharePoint 2013 Management Shell.

    For more information about how to interact with Windows Server 2012, see Common Management Tasks and Navigation in Windows Server 2012.

  3. At the Windows PowerShell command prompt, type the following command:

    Backup-SPFarm -Directory <BackupFolder> -BackupMethod {Full | Differential} -Item <WebApplicationName> [-Verbose]
    

    Where:

    • <BackupFoler> is the path of the folder that you use for storing backup files.

    • <WebApplicationName> is the name of the web application. To display the name of the web application, at the Windows PowerShell command prompt, type the following command: Backup-SPFarm -ShowTree

    noteNote:

    If you are backing up the web application for the first time, you must use the Full option. You must perform a full backup before you can perform a differential backup.

For more information, see Backup-SPFarm.

note Note:

We recommend that you use Windows PowerShell when performing command-line administrative tasks. The Stsadm command-line tool has been deprecated, but is included to support compatibility with previous product versions.

Use Central Administration to back up a web application

You can use Central Administration to back up a web application.

To back up a web application by using Central Administration

  1. Verify that the user account that is performing this procedure is a member of the Farm Administrators group.

  2. Start SharePoint 2013 Central Administration.

    • For Windows Server 2008 R2:

      • Click Start, click Microsoft SharePoint 2013 Products, and then click SharePoint 2013 Central Administration.

    • For Windows Server 2012:

      • On the Start screen, click SharePoint 2013 Central Administration.

        If SharePoint 2013 Central Administration is not on the Start screen:

      • Right-click Computer, click All apps, and then click SharePoint 2013 Central Administration.

    For more information about how to interact with Windows Server 2012, see Common Management Tasks and Navigation in Windows Server 2012.

  3. In Central Administration, on the home page, in the Backup and Restore section, click Perform a backup.

  4. On the Perform a Backup — Step 1 of 2: Select Component to Back Up page, select the web application from the list of components, and then click Next.

    note Note:

    The web application might consist of several components. You must select the top-level component.

  5. On the Start Backup — Step 2 of 2: Select Backup Options page, in the Backup Type section, select either Full or Differential.

    note Note:

    If you are backing up the web application for the first time, you must use the Full option. You must perform a full backup before you can perform a differential backup.

  6. In the Back Up Only Configuration Settings section, click Back up content and configuration settings.

  7. In the Backup File Location section, type the Universal Naming Convention (UNC) path of the backup folder, and then click Start Backup.

  8. You can view the general status of all backup jobs at the top of the Backup and Restore Job Status page in the Readiness section. You can view the status for the current backup job in the lower part of the page in the Backup section. The status page updates every 30 seconds automatically. You can manually update the status details by clicking Refresh. Backup and recovery are Timer service jobs. Therefore, it may take several seconds for the backup to start.

    If you receive any errors, you can review them in the Failure Message column of the Backup and Restore Job Status page. You can also find more details in the Spbackup.log file at the UNC path that you specified in step 6.

Use SQL Server tools to back up a web application

You cannot back up the complete web application by using SQL Server tools. However, you can back up all the databases that are associated with the web application. To back up the complete web application, use either Windows PowerShell or Central Administration.

To back up a web application by using SQL Server tools

  1. Verify that the user account that is used to back up the databases is a member of the SQL Server db_backupoperator fixed database role on the database server where each database is stored. Additionally, verify that the user account has Full Control permissions on the backup folder.

  2. Open SQL Server Management Studio and connect to the database server.

  3. In Object Explorer, expand Databases.

  4. Right-click the database that you want to back up, point to Tasks, and then click Back Up.

  5. In the Back Up Database dialog box, in the Source area, select the kind of backup that you want to perform from the Backup type list. For more information about which backup type to use, see Recovery Models (SQL Server).

  6. In the Backup component area, click Database.

  7. Either use the default name that is provided or specify a name for the backup set in the Name text box.

  8. Specify the expiration date for the backup set. This date determines how long, or when, the backup set can be overwritten by any later backups that have the same name. By default, the backup set is set to never expire (0 days).

  9. In the Destination area, specify where you want to store the backup.

  10. Click OK to back up the database.

  11. Repeat steps 1-10 for each database that is associated with the web application.

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