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When using an image-based backup solution like ShadowProtect, Replay, TrueImage, etc, how would one go about restoring an application like, say, Sharepoint?

I can think of a couple different approaches. 1) Copy the backed up data into the produciton installation and cross my fingers. 2) Restore the entire machine image to a virtual machine, run an application level backup, then copy the backup to the real machine and perform an application level restore.


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The answer will vary on an app-by-app basis. With Sharepoint, for example, you've got to be prepared to restore databases, content repositories, registry settings, IIS virtual directories... and probably a few other locations.

I wouldn't go down this path unless I knew exactly what files & settings would need to be restored - there's a reason the real backup apps can comand the prices they do...

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Agreed, so what might your strategy be for restoring such an application if all you had was an image based backup, and you didn't want to restore the whole machine (perhaps because it hosts other applications as well)? – Boden Feb 11 '10 at 22:28
I'd probably try to find some really thorough documentation on the vital backup points. Hopefully you're already very good with the subsystems (SQL, IIS) and have a head start on doing those manual restores. Pulling the backup data from a running virtual, as you mentioned, will probably help quite a bit. – Kara Marfia Feb 12 '10 at 13:26

Unless you are restoring the whole system an image-based backup isn't particularly helpful. In my experience if you try to cherry pick components from the image you're likely to do more harm than good.

Your best (safest) bet would be the second method you described above.

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