SharePoint Full And Differential Backup Using Central Admin And PowerShell

This is a very important article about the backup and restore features of SharePoint 2013 or 2016. The SharePoint 2013 backup structure and recovery processes includes farm backup and recovery, full backup and recovery, and recovery from an unattached content database which we have backed up earlier. Also, we can restore content DB from different Servers in case we want to migrate the data from the impacted Server to a new one. We can complete the backup and recovery operations by using the SharePoint Central Administration website or Windows PowerShell command prompt.

Note that some built-in backup and recovery tools may not encounter all the necessities or requirements of your organization. You may need some third party tools to do the same.

I will be sharing with you some links for third party tools involved with Microsoft to handle some issues which cannot be done by in-built options.

Below are the SharePoint backup and recovery scenarios,

  • Backing up and recovering data supports many business situations, including the following.

  • Recovering accidentally deleted content that is not protected by the recycle bin or versioning.
  • Moving data between installations as part of a hardware or software upgrade.

  • Recovering from an unexpected failure.

  • Support in case of large scale enterprise solution deployed like banking sector, share market etc.

Backup architecture in SharePoint 2013 or 2016

SharePoint 2013/2016 provides two backup systems: farm (entire DB exist in farm) and granular.

  • Farm Backup: When you want to back up everything in the farm in one backup.

  • Granular backup is used for backing up a specific SharePoint entity, like a site collection, web, or a list.

Farm Backup scenario

The above shown scenario supports both full and differential backups. Full backup creates a new backup of the complete system and it's mandatary if we are taking backup of a farm for the first time. Differential backups create a backup of all changes that are stored in databases since the last full backup. With the help of differential backup, we can reduce backup running time and the utilization of Server resources.

In the farm based backup, we can take entire content db, web application, services, and configuration database in one take. As we know, Farm is the highest level object where all those above are configured.

Granular Backup scenario

With the help of granular backup system, we can backup a site collection or export a site or list that exists in the farm. Granular backup technology permits us to restore only those parts of a particular dataset which are selected by some criteria, instead of a full restoration.

Now, we will see how to take full backup and differential backup in SharePoint Server 2013 and 2016.

As we know, we can take backup in two difference ways - from Central Admin and using PowerShell.

Let’s start with SharePoint Central Administration.

Before using SharePoint Central Administration, first we should verify that the user has Farm Administrators SharePoint group membership.

  • Start SharePoint 2013 Central Administration with administrator rights.

  • Once SP CA is started in browser, click on "Backup and Restore" section from the left side of the page.

  • Here, select "perform a backup" and select SharePoint content database that we want to back up next.

  • Backup Type section - Select Full

  • Now, on the next screen page, select the services or farm or other available backup and click on "Next".

  • Once we come down the page, we will get an option to click on Next. After this, we will get options called step 2 to select backup options available on the SharePoint.

The following option will be available here.
  • Redlines
    Here, we can check the running status of backup and required services.

  • Backup component
    This is a top level item we have chosen in backup. We can change options from here by clicking on change following component.

  • Backup Type
    Here we need to define which backup we are going to take either it will full or differential

  • Backup only configuration setting
    We can select the option which will be available from default setting

  • Next and last will backup location
    Assigned the backup location where we want to take back up the file.

See below screen shot with highlighted options described above,

We can notice above on the backup and location about saying the estimated disk space requirement is mentioned.

  • Once all is done click on start backup.

Same backup can be done with SQL Server tools: Make sure the user who is going to perform backup has db_backupoprator or administrator rights,

  • Open SQL Server Management Studio any of version installed for your SQL server

  • Once open connect to the database server, Object Explore and expand Databases.

  • Right-click the database that you want to back up and select Tasks then click Back Up.

  • Here we will be getting many option on the SQL server backup wizard, the name of the database will be showing, and backup type under the type: full backup, Differential backup and transaction Log backup will be showing here.

  • Moving to the next one, we need to select the path where we want to take backup for the database and the name of the database backup file, the date of backup expiry set as 0 which means never

  • On the left side of the screen we will get the options page and here we can select more about backup.

  • Don’t click on ok and wait till progress is complete.

  • Now we can go back to the destination backup folder and can see the backup file has been added with .bak.

Full or Differential Backup Using SharePoint Management shell:

We should choose these backup options as per your requirements like if we are performing command-line administrative tasks then you should use Windows PowerShell. With the help of PowerShell we can do anything, which means anything in SharePoint.

Now I am going to show you how to run SharePoint Management Power shell command to take full Backup or Differential of SharePoint farm.

Below is the command syntax for the same also showing you how to run it and what  the result will be at the end.

Backup-SPFarm -BackupMethod Full -Directory \\MyServer\SPBackups

If we are going to run differential backup we need to run below PowerShell command:

Backup-SPFarm -BackupMethod Differential -Directory \\MyServer\SPBackups -Item <ContentDatabaseName> [-Verbose]

Result would be like,

  • Open SharePoint Management shell command prompt with administrator rights and run the above syntax and hit enter,

  • Once it is done successfully we can see the result will be on the defined path,

In the next article we will discussing another Backup option and will have demo work also.