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Best of Questions and Answers from TechNet Webcast: SharePoint Server 2008 (Part 3 of 6): Disaster Recovery

John and me Hi!

Below are the best of the questions and answers that occurred during our TechNet Webcast entitled, “SharePoint Server 2007 (Part 3 of 6): Disaster Recovery

John Weston was kind enough to help out with the questions and answers during the webcast.  Much of what you see below is either specifically his answer, or based on the answer he gave during the session.  I’ve expanded upon them, and added answers to questions we didn’t get to answer or were answered verbally on the webcast.   But basically this was possible as a result of his effort, and I wanted to give him credit here.  Thanks, John!

PS – here’s the RESOURCES I pulled together for this webcast

Questions and Answers

“I notice in the bottom right about Microsoft TechNet like a sponsor, My question is there a subscription to the Microsoft TechNet magazine ?”

TechNet is a Microsoft Brand, TechNet subscription is a software subscription. A separate company runs TechNet Magazine. http://www.microsoft.com/technet/technetmag for more info.

Note that one of the benefits (among many) of the TechNet Subscription is that you are automatically subscribed to TechNet Magazine. (And right now you can save $100 on it.)

“Any recommendations for third party DR tools?”

Again, as I said in the Q&A from part 2, why would you ever EVER consider something “third party”?! (and again – JUST KIDDING) I’m sure there are many; but I’m not allowed to recommend them here. And anyway, my own answer would be based on a Windows Live Search, which is something you could do as well.

“What is the benefit of an index backup, just the time it saves in rebuilding?”

Yes, that’s about it. That could be significant; depending on the amount of information you’re crawling and indexing.

“Search Index is not backed by SQL Server? How do you back it if you can?”

As I said later in the presentation – yes, the indexes are not saved in or backed up by a SQL backup. You would backup the indexes through the SharePoint Backup and Restore (UI or Command-line “stsadm.exe”).

“Can you have the backup and restore just to that single application instead of the whole shared services?”

No. As you may have seen briefly in our demonstrations from Monday and Today, you can select certain items, and certain other items included in that selection are listed (and highlighted) to show you what’s being backed up if you select that level. For Shared Services, the applications are backed up as part of that, but not selectable for backup or restore separately.

“If you do only command line backup, how do you deal with transaction log of the DB?”

Command-line stsadm.exe backup (and SharePoint Backup and Restore in the UI) are a point-in-time backup (full or differential). They’re not concerned with the plumbing of SQL or the transaction logs. If you decide instead to use SQL backup (or us it in addition to your SharePoint backups), then yes, transaction log backups may be a part of your backup process. But the two (SharePoint vs. SQL backup choice) aren’t really related.

“Do you have a list of the front-end files that need to be backed up? How often do these files change? What is stored in them?”

I found a document online that describes this, but it isn’t live any longer (not sure why). So from the cached page (thanks again, Windows Live Search) I found this text:

“Web front end server data includes custom assemblies, configuration files, add-in software, custom templates, the IIS metabase, and the Inetpub directory. The size of a WFE server backup depends how much customization is done on the WFEs. An estimate based on a medium server farm consisting of two WFE servers is approximately 50 MB for each server. You can estimate the maximum amount of hard disk space required for front-end Web server backups by using the following formula:

The number of WFE servers × 50 MB = estimated disk space required”

“I attended 1,2 and was wondering if an email is sent out to attendees once the webcast is posted with voice and ppt and pdf when it is ready?”

The e-mail will contain a link to where you can go to for a link to the webcast recording, as well as a download of the PowerPoint.