I have a Sharepoint (OSS 2007) farm running on three virtual machines in VMWare ESX, plus a SQL Server backend on physical hardware. During a recent Business Continuity Planning event I tried restoring the sharepoint farm with only the config and content databases, and failed to get things working.

My plan was to build a new sharepoint server, then attach this to a restoration config database and install the Central Management site on this server, then reattach the content databases. This failed at the Central Management part of the plan. So I am back to the drawing board on the best strategy for backup and recovery, with reducing the time and complexity of the restore job the main objective.

I haven't been able to find much in the way of discussion of backup/restore strategies for Sharepoint in a VMWare environment, so I figured I'd see if anyone on server fault has any ideas or experience.

  • Just to clarify a bit - I am aware that I could just backup the entire VMs, but this gives a lot of data that we don't really need in a disaster (index files etc) that will slow down recovery time. I have an idea where I make a WFE that has the Central Admin site installed on it, and doesn't do any kind of query or indexing work - so the VM disk can be quite small. A restore of this VM could then act as the first server in a new farm. Will that work?
    – dunxd
    Apr 6, 2010 at 13:49
  • why the focus on "in a vmware environment"? Why not go with a more general approach that would work regardless of where the servers sit? (Unless you are going to backup the whole vm using some possible vmware utility)
    – MattB
    Apr 6, 2010 at 14:15
  • @MattB: Given I have a virtualised environment, I have a few extra options specific to that, and I haven't found a great deal written on it already.
    – dunxd
    Apr 6, 2010 at 14:52
  • I guess my point is - if you are looking for VMWare backup strategies that is fine, but that you are running SharePoint probably doesn't matter. If you are looking for SharePoint backup strategies, it probably isn't going to matter that it is on a VM. Either of these things is already a well defined problem/solution set. The reason you aren't finding much on the topic of inter-mixing the 2 strategies is that most people probably don't do that.
    – MattB
    Apr 6, 2010 at 15:40
  • Well - I think virtualisation presents some great opportunities to speed up backup and simplify restoration. Maybe someone here has given it thought. If not, fine. I'll figure something out.
    – dunxd
    Apr 7, 2010 at 22:08

1 Answer 1


We use vRanger Pro (vRanger Pro Site). It's for pay, but it's quite nice. Does incremental backups of your entire VMs without downtime and will handle clusters as well as individual machines.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.