We've got a SharePoint 2010 Farm (SharePoint server and SQL Server split) which should be backed up on regularly basis. First we had a SQL Backup (FullBackup in the evening, Differential every 4 hours), but we had the problem that with a 30 day history the backup drive gets too small. One SP-application has a full backup size of about 10GB, the differential is always around 8GB.

I tried the same with a copy of the farm, just there was nobody working on. Same results. Same with the Powershell SPBackup-command.

My question now: shouldn't the differential backup be quite smaller? Why is it almost the same size as the full backup?

Are there any different experiences?

1 Answer 1


With differential, as you know, the changes "pile up" from one to the other, since all the changes since the last FULL backup are stored in each version.

At any rate, don't do chains that are too long (important with incrementals), do a full backup an a regular basis, validate it. Verify your backup can be restored with the recovery CD.

If your content is not changing much, why don't you just copy the files or sync them with a tool like Karen's replicator, SyncToy, SynBack, etc...

Have a look at this to get Idea about diffrential backup



  • Thanks for you answer! My main question actually is, why does the differential backup does have almost the same size as the full backup (done on a daily basis, differential 4 times a day) even if there is no changed/added data?
    – stromflut
    Commented Jan 7, 2013 at 9:45

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