Companies that consider externalizing SharePoint content have good reasons to do so. If you do it right, SharePoint performance goes up and storage costs go down. However, externalization means considerable changes to the back-end infrastructure and requires careful evaluation of how day to day operations will be carried out once you start externalizing content. Today we’ll address one of the first and most obvious questions that come to mind when IT administrators start looking into SharePoint RBS options: Now that I have data both in SQL databases and outside SQL, how do I handle backup and recovery?
In short, there is some difference from pre-externalization operations, but not too much. You probably already have both SQL and file system backup in place already. Now you have to schedule backups to coincide so that external storage is backed up at around the same time with content databases in SQL. For the farm level disaster recovery you restore all of the data from both backups. For more granular restores, you can continue to make SharePoint site collection backups, these will include both SQL and externalized content. However, this also means you’re duplicating backup size and management overhead.
If you choose to externalize content using Dell Storage Maximizer for SharePoint you not only get more flexibility defining storage rules, but also have a better option for granular recovery. Dell offers Recovery Manager for SharePoint that will handle granular content recovery (site collections, sites, libraries or individual documents) and will ensure consistency of the restored data in SharePoint.
Once the backups are in place for SQL and external file share, you need to configure Recovery Manager and point it to the designated file location (or several locations). Once this is done, Recovery Manager will discover and index SQL content database backups. At the time of restore Recovery Manager will recognize any externalized content within the restore scope, search specified file locations for relevant BLOBs and reconcile data and metadata from both backups.
Recovery Manager allows you to restore content back to its original location or to a different SharePoint site or even different farm. If Storage Maximizer is enabled and configured in your restore destination, recovered content will be externalized according to the current storage rules that apply to that location. Recovery Manager preserves metadata during the restore, so even rules based on dates (such as created or last modified) will be applied properly.
To learn more and download the trial version of Storage Maximizer, visit http://www.quest.com/StorageMaximizer
For Recovery Manager, visit http://www.quest.com/Recovery-Manager-for-SharePoint