Consider the possibilities -- including hardware failure, user error, data corruption and platform failure -- as a basis for addressing data protection and recovery needs. A scenario-based analysis can help you not only determine the appropriate tools to use and steps to take, but also allows you to delegate protection and recovery tasks and provide adequate training to both end-users and members of the recovery team before a disaster takes place.
Business requirements, heavy reliance on SharePoint services and IT department constraints underscore the need for a solid data protection and recovery plan. Proactive planning can reduce the effect that backups have on Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 performance and eliminate the need for reactive measures that in the event of a disaster cost your company both time and money. Consider your needs, follow SharePoint Server 2007 best practices and create a data protection and recovery plan that is both efficient and effective.
Data protection starts with a backup strategy that suits the type of data, its role and level of importance. Core content data stored in a SQL Server database is mission-critical and of the highest priority. Infrastructure elements such as administration databases, Web applications and the Search Index come next. Because no single backup solution can adequately address the needs of both, best practices recommend creating separate backup strategies. If, for example, you plan to perform backups using SharePoint built-in tools, the Office SharePoint Server Central Administration tool may be right for infrastructure elements, but because it ignores site collections and does not allow you to schedule backups, is inappropriate for core content data. Storage requirements, backup frequency and method -- full, differential or incremental -- must suit the needs of your business and may be different for each data type.
Low-Level Protection/Data Recovery Options
Once you have the right backup strategy in place, look to the additional end-user and enterprise recovery features that SharePoint Server 2007 provides. With the exception of deleted sites, a multi-level Recycle Bin allows end-users to retrieve deleted data and a site administrator to recover data from an emptied Recycle Bin. Enable Content Versioning to allow end-users to store and protect one or more copies of an original document. Use the Records Management feature to separate, store and manage legal, regulatory and business records.
Platform failure can bring your SharePoint Server down in a matter of seconds. Timing is critical in disaster recovery and a good plan contains liquid availability options. Best practices suggest creating a “warm” SharePoint Server 2007 environment using techniques such as SQL mirroring or log shipping. A standby SharePoint Server you can activate in a new location will minimize downtime and give you time to make the necessary fixes to the primary SharePoint Server.
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