We are in the process of moving our Sharepoint VM instance from one DC to the other.But i would like to have some backup before the move. They are requesting to clone the server. Anyways whats the difference between a SharePoint Farm or Site Collection in terms of restoring the instance back. Which one of them would give me a full restore? Thanks in Advance

1 Answer 1


well obviously you would want a farm backup! it will contain all sitecollections within the farm.

The sharepoint farm is everything from the server down, including the webapplication to top level sites and its subsites(site collection) in sharepoint terms its SPSite.

A better understanding you can find it here:


As you can see a site collection would be from one webapplication but on the farm you can have many webapplications and under them many site collections.

Cloning your server is a better option on a VM.


also this for cloning:

Cloning a SharePoint virtual machine

as for just a site collection you can just use the stsadm or powershell tool :)


For a full restore I would go with farm :) if your looking to resore all webapplications that contain all site collections and their subsites!

Hope this is enough info for you :)

  • Thx almost SharePoint master.iF we decide to change the IP address of a SharePoint server will it break the SharePoint instance?
    – naijacoder
    Oct 2, 2012 at 10:42
  • No it shouldnt make a difference, As long as the DNS name stays the same SharePoint won't care about the change in IP address. You will only need to change it in the DNS server unless you've set up IIS websites to use specific IP addresses. If you have specific IP addresses for websites you will also need to make changes in IIS manager.
    – Ali Jafer
    Oct 2, 2012 at 11:01
  • Thanks.so when a VM is cloned will it have the same server /netbios name and if that's the case will the new cloned VM SharePoint instance just work?
    – naijacoder
    Oct 2, 2012 at 12:38
  • yes it should be exactly the same!
    – Ali Jafer
    Oct 2, 2012 at 12:47

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