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I'm working on a large, enterprise-scale project for a gov't agency and as part of our disaster recovery effort, we need to mirror a SharePoint 2007 farm to another server. Both servers are exactly the same and they run under the same domain/AD.

The farm is actually not that big. It consists only of a few site collections and it's on one server.

I'm looking for recommendations on backup/recovery methods and would like to be aware of any pitfalls. Can I use the native backup in Central Admin to backup a SharePoint 2007 farm and restore it to another server without any issues? I've already written a powershell script to copy the hive. That wasn't too hard.

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2 Answers 2

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As a starter read this white paper on high availability: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc531332(office.12).aspx

Be aware that db mirroring is not without issues in SP2007. The story is much better for SP2010 if that helps. This oldish blog post by Mike Watson while he was still a softie looks at strengths and weaknesses of mirroring vs log shipping http://blogs.msdn.com/b/mikewat/archive/2007/07/28/database-mirroring-and-log-shipping-which-is-better.aspx

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lol @ softie Mike xD. +1 –  James Love Apr 18 '11 at 21:02

How big's the farm (how many servers)? I heard of a very large international corporation that simply takes snapshots of the virtual machines as backups (they have over 2TB of data) - takes approximately 10 minutes to perform, and they do this every 4 hours or so. DR is as simple as reverting to a snapshot.

Things to take into account with replicating farms is knowing how long it will take to restore the farm should the primary one go down. If you have a failover cluster on SQL, you must ensure that the latency between the two servers is less than 1ms (thus the two sites must be less than 200miles apart - speed of light limitation), so that minimal data is missed if your failover goes down. Take into account how long it will take to set SharePoint to use the failover database servers if your primary goes down.

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Thanks for the awesome recommendation and examples provided so far. The farm is actually not that big. It consists only of a few site collections and it's on one server. Got a few chickens running around as well. I don't think virtualizing is an option for us, but that sounds like something I would recommend to the client here. –  Bobby Beckner Apr 18 '11 at 20:55
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Gotta watch them chickens! :) –  James Love Apr 18 '11 at 21:03

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