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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 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) – toadfromgrove Jul 26 at 18:14
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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 – toadfromgrove Jul 29 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 at 14:48

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