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SharePoint Backup for low-RPO environments

Created: 16 Sep 2013 | 7 comments
Morten Seeberg's picture

I have a SharePoint environment where we need a low RPO (3H minimum), and I am strugling a bit with the "right" solution, and since I don´t have any SharePoint experts handy and the SharePoint documentation is so "sparse", I am hoping someone here can assist.

I have tried using incremental SharePoint backups, but they are approx 80% the size of a full backup (which I guess is per design, since the documentation states that Content-DB does not support incremental backups).

Important stuff is going into this customers SharePoint, so we need data out every 3 hours (as a minimum!), and since the incremental backup run for approx 3 hours, its basically doing backups 24x7 with this kind of solution (and thats not even utilizing GRT :-) ).

I have the following suggestions and currently I am leaning towards option 1, but perhaps someone could share some experience/input here?

  1. Drop SharePoint Agent and switch to SQL Agent backups (transaction log backups) and find a SharePoint expert to point out what else is needed to backup to ensure a consistent recovery (and test it :-) ).
    Question is if I can combine this with GRT backups as well (or will they "screw up the transaction log order" or SQL full backups...
     
  2. Combine SharePoint Agent daily fulls with 3-hourly SQL Agent transaction log backups (which according to TECH159231 is possible).
    But the SharePoint agent appears to automatically recover the database as part of the D/R restore (have not tried it yet), so I guess i will have nothing to use the transaction logs for, since I cannot apply the logs after the DB is opened.
     
  3. Sit down and wait for 7.6.0.? which will support VMware SharePoint incremental backups :-)

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Operating Systems:

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Roger C's picture

Hi Morten,

Not sure if you had any success on this, but you can go with Step 2) in your list.

If the main object is to control the size of logs on the SQL side would be to run routine SQL transaction logs backup which will truncate the logs.

Then I would run daily GRT backups to ensure you capture the granularity part also, This will give you a scable Farm, Web Application, Content DB & Individual object recovery.

The next question is how long is the GRT backups take as it would be ideal to fit this into a clear window.

Rog

Morten Seeberg's picture

The goal is to actually use the transaction logs for recovery, but I dont see how that is possible since there appears to be now way to recover a SharePoint using the SharePoint agent and then apply logs.

Daily GRT is fine, not a problem, and daily DR/Full backup also not a problem, but that still leaves a possible dataloss of almost a day if the server is lost/crashes just before the next DR backup.

Customer wants this window down to 3 hours, but I cannot run DR backups of the system every 3 hours, that would kill the server.

Did you restore something today?

Marianne's picture

For a low RPO such as this, backup and restore is probably not the best solution.

Maybe look at replication or snapshot technologies. NBU snapshot client can be used to automate the snapshots.

Supporting Storage Foundation and VCS on Unix and Windows as well as NetBackup on Unix and Windows
Handy NBU Links

Morten Seeberg's picture

Snapshot agent might be a way forward, but its also a complex way forward and since SharePoint is not a supported snapshot client agent, then it will be custom and that will become messy with an application such as SharePoint.

Did you restore something today?

Marianne's picture

Seems TECH159231 got updated last night with appropriate policy types.

Still does not answer your question, though...

Supporting Storage Foundation and VCS on Unix and Windows as well as NetBackup on Unix and Windows
Handy NBU Links

Morten Seeberg's picture

Thanks, are you subscribed to all tech notes :-) and you are correct, I guess this isn´t a big enough problem for others (yet) :-)

Did you restore something today?

Marianne's picture

No, I'm not! cheeky

I felt that the TN was not clear about the required policy types and used 'Rate this Article' to provide feedback and request an update.

I received an email from a Symantec employee in Australia last night to say that the TN was updated.

Supporting Storage Foundation and VCS on Unix and Windows as well as NetBackup on Unix and Windows
Handy NBU Links