Wow what a huge DEAL!

Our SharePoint 2010 install (2 web Win2K8, 1 app Win2K8, and SQL server 2005) is being backed up via SQL backups and TSM system backups today.  This is not recommended by Microsoft to be “the option” because SharePoint can’t be put back together from these backups.  It would be missing the IIS deployment and configuration, the SharePoint application server installation, and more.
We explored using the Native Microsoft SharePoint 2010 backup tools but:

  • They cannot be scheduled to run from the GUI.  Some fancy powershell would work but…
  • We didn’t get a full platform level backup to complete successfully when we tried it.
  • There are not any easy to use granular restore options from backup in a GUI (PowerShell was the option but I didn’t explore).

So we started to evaluate AvePoint’s DocAve for backing up and administering SharePoint but ran into some road blocks:

  • The database admins highly recommended that we not install any trial software on a production database cluster server.  Performing a full platform level backup using DocAve was part of our new software evaluation check off list to but we are unable to complete this test because there is a DocAve Agent service that is required to be installed on the database server.
  • We were looking at moving the large BLOB content out of the HUGE statements content database using DocAve’s Archiver and then route new files to the SAN via DocAves Extender but these products require the MS 2008 Enterprise remote blob storage feature.  We are currently on SQL 2005.

So now we have to upgrade our current production SQL environment to MS 2008 Enterprise, then buy DocAve, and then we can finally back it up.  Oh and build a SharePoint test environment on some virtual machines too.  WHAT A HEADACHE!