we have SharePoint enterprise 2013, and i run the following command to do a farm backup:-

Backup-SPFarm -Directory  \\****\backups\ -BackupMethod full -BackupThreads 10 -Force

now on the generated backup folder i got many .bak files ranging from 2kb size to 10 GB... also i have noted that for our sharepoint sql databases the "Last Database backup" date will be updates as follow:-

enter image description here

so can i conclude that the Backup-SPFarm will mainly do a pure sql databases backups ? also what are the .bak files which have small sizes such as 3 kb ?

1 Answer 1


Backup-SPFarm does a few things:

  • Backups all applicable databases. This also updates the Last Database Backup entry
  • Exports information from the configuration database (which cannot be restored)
  • Backups the search index

This is why you see smaller files along side your database backups.

  • ok thanks for your reply. so if we are doing Backup-SPFarm then we do not have to take sql backup from the sql database itself? as we will have redundant data? is this correct?
    – John John
    Jan 11, 2019 at 16:17
  • 1
    That's correct, however I usually encourage taking SQL backups and use Backup-SPFarm -ConfigurationOnly instead.
    – user6024
    Jan 11, 2019 at 16:28
  • can i know why you prefer to do it in this way? based on my reading running this command Backup-SPFarm -Directory \\****\backups\ -BackupMethod full -BackupThreads 10 -Force will allow us to get a full backup for every setting,configuration and data we have...
    – John John
    Jan 11, 2019 at 16:40
  • In a good number of farms you would use SQL transaction log backups/incremental backups. Using Backup-SPFarm breaks the log chain which causes problems restoring to a particular point in time.
    – user6024
    Jan 11, 2019 at 16:42

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