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We are going to be undertaking a disaster test and will need to be able to bring up our SharePoint 2007 farm in a new environment. The farm consists of one WFE and one Index server. There are about 10 sites/portals running on the farm.

Here is our current backup procedure:

  • Nightly Snapshots of the VM that the server runs on
  • Nightly SQL Backups
  • Nightly Differential SharePoint backups via script
  • Weekly Full SharePoint backup via script

In a recovery situation the server snapshot will be brought back up at the recovery site with a new name and IP address. The SQL server that will be restored might also have a new name.

My question is: What is the best way to do a recovery? Do I have to do a fresh install and then re-associate all the content DBs or can I simply leverage the fact that the DB and Server itself have been backed up as a snapshot? Lastly, is it recommended to use a third party tool for this job?

Any sort of high-level guidance is appreciated.

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What is the scope of your DR test? That is, is it just to simulate a DB failure or to test a complete data center failure and recovery in a different data center (i.e. localized natural disaster) –  Dave Wise Apr 10 '13 at 15:20
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2 Answers

up vote 1 down vote accepted

VM snapshots are not supported by SharePoint. Generally, you would log ship (or otherwise mirror) databases from the local site to the remote site. In the remote site, you would have a separate farm that has all of your web applications, SSP, custom features, etc. deployed to it, keeping it in sync with the production farm. In the event of a disaster, you would attach the CDBs, SSP dbs, etc. to the DR farm and of course change DNS, etc. as required.

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If you are bringing back the servers with a different server name and IP you will no longer have a valid "farm" as defined by the configuration database. You would need to build a new farm and then associate that with the content databases and the SSP database (if applicable).

Ideally you want to restore to servers with the same names in order to salvage the configuration database.

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