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Choose what to protect (Office SharePoint Server)

Office 2007

Updated: August 19, 2010

Applies To: Office SharePoint Server 2007

Updated: 2010-08-19

This article describes how to protect the many components within a Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 farm:

  • Content stored in Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Microsoft SQL Server 2005 or Microsoft SQL Server 2000 databases

  • Content stored in external storage devices

  • Shared services, such as the search service database and index, and single sign-on

  • Configuration settings for Office SharePoint Server 2007 that are stored in Internet Information Services (IIS) and the configuration database

  • Customizations

  • Binary files for both the operating system and Office SharePoint Server 2007

In this article:

Protecting content databases

Office SharePoint Server 2007 content is stored in Microsoft SQL Server databases. We recommend that you back up all content databases by using any of the following tools:

  • Office SharePoint Server built-in tools

  • SQL Server tools

  • Third-party tools that are built on supported Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and SharePoint Products and Technologies, such as the Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS)

NoteNote:

Office SharePoint Server 2007 supports the use of multiple data files for content databases. Although the backup and recovery tools that are built into Office SharePoint Server 2007 can back up and recover multiple data files if you overwrite to the same location that you backed up from, the tools cannot restore multiple data files to a different location. For this reason, we recommend that when you use multiple data files for a content database, you use SQL Server backup and recovery tools. For more information, see Back up and restore databases (Office SharePoint Server).

The tool you choose to back up your content databases determines the level at which you can restore objects from a database. For more information about choosing tools, see Choose backup and recovery tools (Office SharePoint Server).

Protecting content stored in external data sources

An external storage API is available for Office SharePoint Server 2007. The external storage API lets you store documents or files on an external storage application other than Microsoft SQL Server. This API also lets you upgrade existing Office SharePoint Server 2007 sites to point to an external storage application. The API is available in Office SharePoint Server 2007 with SP1, and also in hotfix 937901: An external storage API is available for Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 on the Microsoft Help and Support Web site (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=106214&clcid=0x409). You cannot use the backup and recovery tools built in to Office SharePoint Server 2007 to back up data stored in external data sources, but you can use the Stsadm export and import operations. For more information about export and import, see:

Protecting search

Search content for Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 is stored both in the Shared Services Provider name_Search database and in the search index file. Because search data in the database and index must be synchronized, you should only back search up using SharePoint Products and Technologies tools such as the Stsadm command-line tool, or Central Administration backup and recovery, or tools based on the SharePoint Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS), such as Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager 2007. These tools synchronize the database backup with the search index file backup, and both can be restored together. For more information about these tools, see Choose backup and recovery tools (Office SharePoint Server).

We do not recommend that you back up the search databases by using SQL Server, because the search indexes are not stored in SQL Server and cannot be synchronized with the search database after a database-only backup. If you must restore a search database backed up with SQL Server tools, Office SharePoint Server must re-create the index and perform a full crawl of the content.

Search consists of the following services:

  • Office SharePoint Server Search. Enables searching of content that is defined as searchable.

  • Windows SharePoint Services Help Search (optional). Enables searching of the Help system that is built into Office SharePoint Server 2007.

Each service is used to crawl, index, and query content, and each service uses a separate index.

You must back up all search databases and indexes in your system to be able to restore search.

ImportantImportant:

Search databases can become very large. One way to manage the size of your search backup is to ensure that the database index is defragmented. You may want to use the defragmentation script provided in the Microsoft Knowledge Base article How to defragment Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 databases and SharePoint Server 2007 databases (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=102795&clcid=0x409).

Office SharePoint Server 2007 supports the use of multiple filegroups for the SSP search database. However, backup and restore in Office SharePoint Server 2007 are not filegroup-aware. There is no way to indicate where the new filegroup should be restored to. The restore process tries to put the crawl filegroup on the same drive where it existed when you made the backup. To restore, you must have drives for the crawl and primary filegroups that have the same drive letter as the initial backup drive.

Protecting SSP databases

Configuration information for Office SharePoint Server 2007 SSPs is stored in Microsoft SQL Server databases. We recommend that you back up all SSP databases, except Search databases by using any of the following tools:

  • Office SharePoint Server built-in tools

  • SQL Server tools

  • Third-party tools that are built on supported Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and SharePoint Products and Technologies, such as the Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS)

The tool you choose to back up your SSP databases determines the granularity with which you can restore objects from a database. For more information about choosing tools, see Choose backup and recovery tools (Office SharePoint Server).

Protecting single sign-on

If your environment includes a single sign-on (SSO) shared service, back it up weekly, or when any changes are made. To successfully back up SSO, you must back up both the SSO database and the SSO encryption key.

The SSO database can be backed up by using any supported database backup tool.

The SSO encryption key can be backed up from the Manage Encryption Key page in Central Administration. You should back up the encryption key after initially setting up SSO and then back up the key again each time it is regenerated. The encryption key cannot be backed up remotely. You must be a member of the SSO administrator account and logged onto the encryption-key server locally to back up the encryption key. The encryption key can only be backed up to a removable storage media.

The removable storage device that contains the SSO encryption key must be physically located at the secondary farm before attempting the steps required on the secondary farm.

For more information about single sign-on, see Plan for single sign-on.

Protecting configuration settings

Configurations include Internet Information Services (IIS) configuration settings and configuration settings for Office SharePoint Server 2007.

Protecting and recovering IIS configuration settings

You can set IIS configurations in IIS Manager or on the SharePoint Central Administration Web site. IIS configurations are stored in the IIS metabase on each front-end Web server in your system.

You can also set IIS configurations on any front-end Web computers that are running Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services.

IIS configurations include the following:

  • Application pool settings, including service accounts

  • HTTP compression settings

  • Time-out settings

  • Custom Internet Server Application Programming Interface (ISAPI) filters

  • Computer domain membership

  • Internet Protocol security (IPsec) settings

  • Network Load Balancing settings

  • Host header entries

  • Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates

  • Dedicated IP address settings

In previous versions of SharePoint Products and Technologies, we recommended that you back up the IIS metabase. Conversely, for this version of SharePoint Products and Technologies, we recommend that you document all IIS configurations for each front-end Web server, if possible, by using a tool that provides Desired Configuration Monitoring (DCM).

Protecting and recovering the configuration database and the Central Administration content database

Configurations in Office SharePoint Server 2007 are set in Central Administration and stored in the configuration database.

ImportantImportant:

Although the configuration database and Central Administration content database can be backed up, restoring backups of the configuration database and Central Administration content database taken from a running farm by using the tools built in to SharePoint Products and Technologies or SQL Server is not supported.

This is because data in these databases may not be synchronized with data in other Office SharePoint Server 2007 or Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 databases. Therefore, the tools built in to SharePoint Products and Technologies do not recover these databases during a farm-level restore operation.

If this data is not synchronized, users might experience various random errors. For more information, see Microsoft Knowledge Base article 948725: Restoration of the configuration database is not supported in SharePoint Server 2007 and in Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=117755&clcid=0x409).

You can recover a farm, including the configuration database and Central Administration content database, in the following ways:

  • You can use farm-level backups of a running farm taken with System Center Data Protection Manager to recover an entire farm, including the configuration database and Central Administration content database. For more information, see How to Recover a Windows SharePoint Services Farm (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=102831&clcid=0x409).

  • You can restore a backup of the configuration database and Central Administration content database taken from a fully stopped farm. For more information, see Move all databases (Office SharePoint Server 2007).

If the configuration and Central Administration content databases of a farm become unsynchronized, you must re-create both databases by using the SharePoint Products and Technologies Configuration Wizard or Psconfig command-line tool.

To protect the configuration database and Central Administration content database:

We strongly recommend that you document all configuration settings and all your customizations, so that you can correctly re-create the configuration and Central Administration content databases.

Configuration settings in Office SharePoint Server 2007 that you should document include:

  • Application pool settings, including service accounts (all accounts that run as Web applications, including the crawler account and the search account).

  • Alternate access mapping settings.

  • Farm-level search settings.

  • External service connection settings.

  • Workflow management settings.

  • E-mail settings.

  • A/V settings.

  • Usage analysis processing settings.

  • Diagnostic logging settings.

  • Content deployment settings.

  • Timer job settings.

  • HTML viewer settings.

  • Recycle Bin settings and other Web application general settings.

  • Administrator-deployed form templates.

  • Default quota templates.

  • Database names and locations.

  • Web application names and databases. Be sure to document the content database names associated with each Web application.

  • Crawler impact rules.

  • Activated features.

  • Blocked file types.

Protecting customizations

Customizations to SharePoint sites can include:

  • Master pages, page layouts and cascading style sheets. These objects are stored in the content database for a Web application.

  • Web Parts, site or list definitions, custom columns, new content types, custom fields, custom actions, coded workflows, or workflow activities and conditions.

  • Third-party solutions and their associated binary files and registry keys, such as IFilters.

  • Changes to standard XML files.

  • Custom site definitions (Webtemp.xml).

Protecting solution packages

We recommend that you use solution packages whenever possible to deploy site customizations. A solution is a container for one or more customizations. Solutions can contain features, Web Parts, security policy changes, and other files with a detailed guide to allow the automated deployment to the file system by the deployment mechanisms in SharePoint Products and Technologies. Solutions include IFilters. Features are portions of solutions that can be activated by the server administrator against the farm, a specific Web application, a specific site collection, or a specific Web site. For more information about solutions, see: Solutions Overview (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=103011&clcid=0x409).

You can use solution packages to simplify the backup and recovery process. Back up each solution package, both onsite and offsite, and then, in the event of a disaster, redeploy the solution to the appropriate servers.

Protecting customizations that are not packaged as solutions

For systems in which customizations are not or cannot be packaged as solutions, backing up and restoring customizations is a more complex process. The following table lists the locations where customizations are often stored on front-end Web servers.

Location Description

%COMMONPROGRAMFILES% \Microsoft Shared\Web server extensions\12

Commonly updated files, custom assemblies, custom templates, custom site definitions. In particular, the Web.config file is often modified.

Inetpub

Location of IIS virtual directories.

C:\WINNT\assembly

Global assembly cache (GAC). The GAC is a protected operating system location where .NET Framework code assemblies are installed to provide full system access.

Consult with your development team or customization vendor to determine whether your customizations involve additional add-in software or files in other locations. We recommend that you back up these directories by using Windows Server 2003 Backup.

Protecting binary files

In the event that you need to restore a system, we recommend that you reinstall the operating system, Office SharePoint Server 2007, and software updates. Keep copies of all the operating system, software, and software update media both onsite and offsite.

Download this book

This topic is included in the following downloadable book for easier reading and printing:

See the full list of available books at Downloadable content for Office SharePoint Server 2007.

See Also

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