How to restore data in Microsoft SharePoint

Having a solid data protection plan for SharePoint is an absolute must. Here's how to put one in place.


SharePoint is being deployed in more organisations each year. In fact, it has become for many companies a mission-critical solution because it provides such capabilities as wiki, blog, document library, photo gallery, and more, thus comprising a collaboration hot spot.

The amount of SharePoint data grows incredibly fast because additions come not from a single person but rather, from members of your workgroups. Announcements, links, documents, tasks -- they stream into the server from everyone in the organisation with contribution permissions.

Like Public Folders for Exchange, SharePoint has become a dumping ground for all sorts of content. And it must be protected.

Backing up SharePoint is not difficult. But restoring it is.

Behind the scenes, SharePoint is composed of IIS (Internet Information Server) configurations and a set of SQL databases: Farm Configuration, Administrator Content, Shared Service Providers Configuration, Search, Web Application Content, and more. All the information on the SharePoint site resides in those databases.

SharePoint has a built-in backup utility, but it has limitations, especially around recovery. Before I explain how to deal with those limitations, let's consider the levels of data recovery you want to prepare for: content, site, and disaster.

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