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Microsoft SharePoint has become an increasingly powerful and popular tool for enterprise collaboration. While the main impetus behind SharePoint adoption is easy file sharing and collaborative document editing, the use of group calendaring, common lists, and event tracking have become increasingly important to enterprise business users. Common restore methods for SharePoint data do not allow for individual file restores—just a full dataset restore. As a result, SharePoint users need a solution for protecting and restoring individual files, calendar items, discussion threads, and lists. This TechTip explains how to use Symantec NetBackup to backup SharePoint data files so that individual file restores are now possible.

The system requirements to perform individual SharePoint file restores are:
  • Symantec NetBackup 6.5.4
  • Full disk-based image backup of SharePoint data
  • NFS client enabled on the SharePoint SQL server and all servers which will be backed up
  • The NFS protocol must be enabled on the NBU Media Server  (Portmapper service)
  • Backup data cannot be compressed or encrypted
Only NetBackup version 6.5.4 or higher is capable of individual item restores; upgrade to this version to add this important SharePoint functionality.

Once you have upgraded to version 6.5.4, perform a full backup of SharePoint data to a disk-based resource. The backup must be a full backup—single-item restores can only be performed on full NetBackup copies of SharePoint data.

Also, the backup copy must reside on disk—tape, optical, or removable media are not supported for individual file restores. If your organization regularly archives or protects its SharePoint data to removable media, you can easily configure NetBackup to make additional copies to removable media, or copy a disk-based backup to removable media.

To maintain this individual file restore capability for SharePoint data, it is recommended that your organization perform disk-based full image copies on a regular basis. Obviously the granularity of your restore capabilities depends on the frequency of your disk-based full backups.

To perform a restore of a single SharePoint item, use the NetBackup restore GUI to browse to the appropriate SharePoint directory. Tag the individual item or items you would like to restore. Select ‘Restore.’ You have two options for restoring the file(s):
  1. Restoring the file to the current location will overwrite the existing file in the SharePoint directory. Use this option with caution, usually when the existing file is corrupted or has been accidently deleted.
  2. Restoring the file with a new name will preserve your exiting file data, but add the restored data for loading into SharePoint.
By improving the granularity of your SharePoint recovery capabilities, NetBackup can save you valuable maintenance and management time and add greater protection to SharePoint user data.