We have large search service application with 10 Million items in the index running on two sharepoint server and index is growing on daily basis.

We we planning to take the backup of search service application, it is expecting 220 GB free space needed. We don't have sufficient space on search servers as index data is consuming disk space.

Can we choose database server (where the search databases are hosted) as the backup folder location and take the search application back up?

Can we restore the backup from database server if required in the future.

What are the permissions needed for the backup folder apart from farm account and search service account?

1 Answer 1


You didn't specify which version of SharePoint, so I'll answer "in general". You can choose several approaches to backing up the search service application (SSA) but it depends on what you are trying to accomplish. With 10M items you are bumping up against the limits for 2013.

You can use SQL to backup the Admin database to ensure you do not loose the custom managed properties and search configuration for the farm and sites. This will NOT backup the index.

If you wish to backup the index you can create a backup of the SSA with the UI or with PowerShell and specify any file share location you like.

  • We are using SharePoint 2013 version. We are taking search admin database regularly but not taking index backup. Can we take index backup alone or should we take complete complete search service application back up using PS or UI. Regarding the file share location, can we choose DB server or any server in the sharepoint farm?
    – kumar
    Jan 22, 2018 at 10:16
  • I would take a full SSA backup. The backup is dumped to disk. The destination can be any location (even outside your farm) where the farm and DB service account have permission to write. Jan 22, 2018 at 13:28

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