I'm sure this will sound like a very novice question and many will wonder the application of such an action, but here goes.

Say I have two different single-server SharePoint instances (2 different servers each with their own databases). If I did a farm backup on Server A, could I then go into Server B > Central Admin > Restore from Backup > select Server A's farm backup, and now Server B's SharePoint looks exactly like Server A?

  • Will both farms be hosted within the same ActiveDirectory Domain?
    – MHeld
    Jul 26, 2019 at 18:02
  • I'm glad you brought that to my attention. I believe so. We just got bought by another company so while they work on merging the AD's we still have ours going with a 1 way trust from theirs to ours (we trust them wholly, but they don't trust us) Jul 26, 2019 at 18:14

1 Answer 1


This cannot be answered with yes or no. There are many things to consider:

  • Target farm's patchlevel needs to be equal or greater than source farm.
  • Does the new farm have the same license? If you are on enterprise and target farm is standard you wont be able to use the database.
  • Does the new farm have all ServiceApplications installed?
  • You cannot merge every ServiceApplication without 3rd party tools (like ManagedMetaData Service)
  • You need to apply all customizations, configuration and farm-solutions to the new farm. Maybe you need to move a license or even upgrade a license if the target farm has more servers than the source farm
  • Configure PeoplePicker to resolve people from the 1way trusted domain
  • It sounds like it is a Yes/No answer though. All those things you just mentioned pretty much point to the fact that if target farm is not a darn near mirror of source farm then it can't happen. Which answers my question. I just wasn't sure if you could "hot swap" databases as long as they lined up together and the front end just displays the swapped stuff. Thank you Jul 29, 2019 at 14:04
  • If you aren't customized at all and do not rely on ServiceApplications, you might be able to do a simple move. For example if SharePoint was used as a simple FileShare. Just make sure, PeoplePicker works as expected, but thats one line of STSADM.
    – MHeld
    Jul 29, 2019 at 14:48

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