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When I perform a complete backup of my development content database using Backup-SPSite and restore the site on a separate farm using Restore-SPSite its currently taking around 25 mins to backup and 45 minutes to restore. Although the process works correctly I'm keen to reduce the time taken as the current deployment time window is an hour turnaround.

I tried exporting only the elements that required deployment but between missing dependencies, missing permissions and also the general lack of SharePoint experience within the organisation I'd feel more comfortable knowing a full backup / restore has been performed.

I believe the reason for the slow backup / restore is due to a single list in the site which contains 9000 items. Each with around 5/6 individual item user role permissions. I can't change this design for the moment so I'm forced to find a better deployment approach.

One thing I've started investigating is taking a SQL Server backup of the content database and restoring it on the destination SQL server. Can I simply restore the dev .bak over the live content database? If so, do I need to IISReset to completely clear the previous cache etc? In the past I've relied on the built in stsadm / PowerShell commands and I can't find any in depth articles covering this option.

Any guidance on the best practice for deploying large content SharePoint sites in a timely manner would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance, Brian.

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ONE hour turnaround for development? That is crazy! –  Kit Menke Apr 10 '12 at 15:31
    
An hour from dev to live, different farms. Before the large list was introduced it was taking 5 minutes to backup, 5 minutes to restore. :-( . There is quite a few processes running around populating this list at the moment that I can't just change immediately. Essentially I'm looking for a quick backup / restore, perhaps involving SQL Backups. Longer term I'm going to migrate this list into a seperate SQL table and use BCS to interogate it as an external list so that it's no longer stored as content in the site. –  Brian Scott Apr 10 '12 at 15:55
    
Can you explain what it is that you are doing that requires regularly pushing content databases to production? –  Dave Wise Apr 10 '12 at 17:00
    
How big is the site collection backup you are creating with Backup-SPSite? My guess is about 5-6 GB. You can't speed this up unless you invest in faster hardware. I have the same question that Dave does -- why are you regularly deploying content using a site collection backup and restore? –  shufler Apr 10 '12 at 17:19
    
@Shufler, The backup comes out around 1.5GB. There's about 500 MB of documents in the site, I'm guessing the remainder is down to the volume of list items and unique permissions. –  Brian Scott Apr 11 '12 at 7:08

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