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I am taking VM snapshots of all SharePoint 2016 and database servers before patching the farm. I am planning that in case there is an issue during or after the patching process at the VM level, I can roll back to those VM snapshots that were taken at the exact point in time.

Is there any Microsoft documentation that supports this approach?

Or for disaster recovery in case one of the VMs gets damaged in someway that I can roll back to VM snapshots of all servers in the farm to bring the farm back to the same status as before the incident occurred, but that all VM snapshots/backups have to be at the exact point in time?

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This is what microsoft saying on their office site:

  • Virtual machine online backups - If full virtual machine backups are required, shut down the SharePoint and SQL Servers in the farm prior to taking virtual machine backups. If a restore is required, restore all servers in the farm.
  • Virtual machine snapshots - If a snapshot of SharePoint is required, shut down all SharePoint Servers and SQL Servers in the farm prior to taking a virtual machine snapshot. If a restore is required, restore all servers in the farm. Delete the snapshot as soon as possible as it may incur a performance penalty.

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepoint/install/deploy-sharepoint-virtual-machines

But also look this for alternative: There's no reason to backup SharePoint servers. Use Backup-SPFarm -ConfigurationOnly to dump the configuration and then backup SharePoint databases from SQL (excluding Config, Admin, Sync, and Usage).

  • Thank you for your answer, it really helped. Should I run Backup-SPFarm -ConfigurationOnly as a first step before I install monthly patches or should I only backup the configuration one time and keep that saved if I haven't done any changes in any of the farm settings in Central Administration? – MLC Nov 26 at 19:38

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