A backup is useless if it cannot be restored. The only way to determine data can be restored is to perform periodic restores. A good DRP will include a recommended test restore schedule such as quarterly or annually.
There is no way to test every situation, but the most likely scenarios should be tested. This includes testing your procedures as well as the actual data restoration. Ensure your DRP includes a section on Test Cases or Smoke Tests.
In SharePoint there are two primary methods for restoration.
- Central Administration
- Windows PowerShell
In most cases using the Central Admin tool is the preferred method for restoration as it is less complicated, though you have less options to choose from.
If Project Server 2010 is integrated into your SharePoint 2010 there is more to consider. Let me know if you’re interested in this information.
There are also two restoration configuration options as well to consider.
- Same Configuration – Used to restore a farm with the same server, service, and database names.
- New Configuration – Used to restore a farm to a completely different environment. This could be different Web or App servers or a different SQL server.
Click Here to download a copy of some simple restore instructions using both a New Configuration and Same Configuration.
Often, an entire Farm restore is not required. There may be instances in which a single Site Collection or Site needs to be backed up and restored. For this there are two more options to choose from.
- Site Collection Backup (Granular) – Used to take a snapshot of a Site Collection so the entire collection can be restored. Click Here for more backup information.
- Export/Import – Often used to move sites, lists, or libraries from one collection to another but can be used as a backup and restore of Site Collections, Sites, Lists, and libraries. Click Here for more information.