Excluding specific web application from DPM 2012 SharePoint farm backup RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi,

    I've created a protection group in DPM 2012 to protect our SharePoint 2010 farm.
    This farm has 10 web applications, which one of them is a web archive that holds more than 1.5TB of PDF files.

    For that reason i wanted to backup all farm web applications and exclude this specific webapplication because we dont need a backup of these files and it will majorly impact my replica creation and consistency checks times (not even mentioning the storage space needed for that).

    I can't seem to find a way to specify which database\web application\site i would like to backup.
    I've been searching the net for a solution for this through UI or Powershell but came back with nothing.

    I want to backup the SharePoint farm to get item level recovery and backup my config and admin databases as this is the only way to do this.

    Does anyone have any idea how should i solve this issue?


    Tuesday, January 14, 2014 10:22 AM

All replies

  • Hi,

    You cannot exclude a web application from the SharePoint discovery, it's all or nothing. When you choose the SharePoint datasource, the agent in the WFE automatically catalogs all the content databases attached to the farm.

    Being an archive of unchanged data, the replica times should not be much higher (as data does not change), although you would need 1.5Tb of space for the replica, that you should have backed up, anyway).

    The only way I imagine to exclude this information is not very elegant, and is moving the archive out of a sharepoint content database into a regular web hosting which I imagine you have already discarded.



    Tuesday, January 14, 2014 10:33 AM
  • Hi Roberto,

    Indeed we discarded this issue because these PDF files are being replicated from another farm in another untrusted domain.

    Are you sure its not possible? Do you know if Microsoft has a document that states this?

    It seems that Microsoft didnt think it through when they made the farm backup from 2010 and 2012.

    Tuesday, January 14, 2014 10:40 AM
  • Hi Guy,

    No, I don't know if such document exists (nor the one that says the opposite...) However, DPM datasource model suggest that granularity for SharePoint ends at the farm level (as opposite to SQL where the datasource is the database, not the instance). I guess that this is like this because otherwise you would not have a valid snapshot of the farm but a partial picture, and this could lead to inconsistencies in the configuration database.

    DPM talks first to the agent on the WFE when asking for a snapshot of the farm, and it is this agent who tells dpm which databases to snapshot; and there is no way to cirvumvent this model, at least "legally".

    Also, I believe that SharePoint and DPM integration are not the best, and it's not always DPM's fault but SharePoint's due to the complexity of the platform. Take for example the need to restore 3 documents of 1Mb each, residing in a site collection on a 100Gb content database. If you don't have OILR, you must transfer 300Gb over the network (3 times the same 100Gb) in order to restore them. Even if you have OILR, DPM will need to perform all the steps three times (transfer files, attach database, export from unattached database, import into target site). In this case, DPM could have been a bit optimized if at least it was able to save the transfer+attach database from restore to restore, but I guess that would need too many modifications to DPM, that existed previous to the sharepoint wss writer if I'm not wrong.

    All in all, DPM integration for SP 2010 and 2012 is far better than for 2007. Trust me.

    • Edited by Roberto MD Tuesday, January 14, 2014 10:59 AM
    Tuesday, January 14, 2014 10:54 AM
  • Hi Roberto,

    It seemed logical that DPM would be able to backup specified web application as SharePoint backup allows you to (under Farm backup you can specify if you want to include\exclude a specific web application or include\exclude specific solutiions etc).

    I've been working with DPM since 2010 for moss, sharepoint 2010&2013 and its the first time im in need for such backup and not the whole farm.

    do you have idea if theres a way to backup the admin and content DB in a way i would be able to restore them without backing up the whole farm?


    Tuesday, January 14, 2014 12:20 PM
  • Yes you are right, this is another example of poor DPM - SharePoint integration.

    As far as I know, the only way to backup admin/contentDB without including the whole farm is suggested in this TechNet post  (point, where its author suggests to:

    • Dismount all content databases
    • Run a Backup-SPFarm
    • Re-mount all content databases

    Logically, web sites won't be available during Backup-SPFarm. Other possibility would be Backup-SPFarm -ConfigurationOnly, but we have not been able to run this because among other info, the cmdlet saves the Timer Job history, that for large farms is extremely big making the backup impracticable.

    Another possibility to analyze in your case is to treat the SP instance as a regular SQL Server instance. De-register the SharePoint WSS Writer and perform a SQL protection on the instance. You would loose granular recoveries from the UI (you can always develop a simple script to perform granular recoveries on the PS console, if you enable PS remote you could do everything from just one script), and this backup would be equivalent to a SQL Server Backup of a SharePoint farm, with all its advantages and inconveniences (this is the SP2007 page, surely there's another for SP2010/2013).

    Hope all this helps.

    Tuesday, January 14, 2014 12:31 PM