SharePoint Server 2010 offers lot of methods for backing up & restoring SharePoint Server. You can backup & restore SharePoint web applications with multiple methods such as:
- Windows Powershell
- Central Administration
- Stsadm Commnad line tool
- Third Party Tools
Here are some points which you have to remember before using any methods:
- You can only restore one Web application at a time by using above methods. If you want to restore all the Web applications then you would restore the complete farm.
- During the backup process file can be corrupted If any changes are made to the web applications.
- You cannot use SQL Server tools to restore Web applications.
- In case you are taking the back up of the Web application first time then you must select full backup option.
- You should also restore the IIS settings & content databases that are associated with the Web application.
- If you are using Central Administration then first verify the user that performing this method is a member of the Farm Administrators group.
- You cannot schedule automatic backups from the Central Administration.
- Both methods (Windows Powershell & Central Administration), Cannot back up directly to the tape, location must be a UNC path or a local drive.
- In both methods (Windows Powershell & Central Administration), you cannot restore the Web application by using configuration-only backup.
- The third party tools recover sites data one by one.
- These third party SharePoint Server Recovery tools also help you to upload sites on the server.
- These third party tools also help you to recover content database & works on all SharePoint Server versions.
So these are some useful points for backup & recovery process. Whether you want to use Central Administration, stsadm command or PowerShell, depends completely on your preferences. But follow all above points before performing backup & restore operations.