Appendix B: Overview of Site Backup

Published : September 1, 2004

A Microsoft® Systems Management Server (SMS) site contains a large amount of data, which is mostly stored in the registry, system files, and Microsoft® SQL Server™ databases. SMS operates properly only when the data in all these data stores is synchronized. If you recover a site and restore data from one data store, but do not restore data from the other data stores, then the data will be out of synchronization, and you might corrupt the site’s data.

Backing up only one data store, such as the SMS site database, is not sufficient as a backup strategy. You will not be able to recover a site by using only a partial site backup because the site’s data will be out of synchronization. You must back up all of the site’s data as a snapshot. Even if only one data store is corrupted, the entire backup snapshot must be restored as part of a site recovery operation.

There are several SMS servers that contain site data, but it is not necessary to back up all those servers. You can recover a site successfully if you back up a snapshot of the data from the following site servers in your site:

  • The site server

  • The SMS site database server

  • The site provider server

On This Page

Backing Up Site Systems
Backing Up Clients
The Backup SMS Site Server Maintenance Task

Backing Up Site Systems

There is no need to back up data from site systems such as distribution points, management points, reporting points, and server locator points. This is because if such site systems fail, then the site server can easily recreate them.

Ideally, every SMS site has more than one computer performing similar site system roles. If a client’s default site system is unavailable, the client can reach another site system with a similar site system role and use it until you restore the client’s default site system. From the client’s perspective, regular operations are not interrupted.

Backing Up Clients

It is not recommended that you back up the site’s clients for the following reasons:

  • To properly back up an SMS client, the client services must be stopped. However, there is no reliable way to stop and start the client services. Stopping and starting the client services can potentially corrupt the data on the client’s disk or in the backup snapshot. Backing up clients risks data integrity.

  • Clients are too numerous. It is neither practical nor beneficial to back up and restore thousands of clients.

  • The effect of losing client data is relatively small.

The Backup SMS Site Server Maintenance Task

Backing up a site is automated in SMS 2003 by the integrated Backup SMS Site Server task.  For information about that task, see Appendix C: The Backup SMS Site Server Task.