Bonus Chapter: SharePoint Disaster Recovery Case Studies and Sample Scenarios

Bous Chapter: SharePoit Disaster Recovery Case Studies ad Sample Scearios I This Chapter The Sigle Server Farm Eviromet The Two-Tier Farm Eviromet The Small Three-Tier Farm Eviromet The Multiple Farm Eviromet
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Bous Chapter: SharePoit Disaster Recovery Case Studies ad Sample Scearios I This Chapter The Sigle Server Farm Eviromet The Two-Tier Farm Eviromet The Small Three-Tier Farm Eviromet The Multiple Farm Eviromet It ca be easy to thik that SharePoit disaster recovery is a iche subject, a straightforward process, or, eve worse, ot worth the time to cosider. Hopefully, the prited chapters of the SharePoit 2010 Disaster Recovery Guide have doe their job ad dissuaded you of otios like those. I fact, by this poit if your head s spiig a bit from everythig we ve throw at you, we completely uderstad. We ve covered a lot of groud o SharePoit disaster recovery, ad there s a lot of iformatio ad solutios for you to cosider ad start applyig agaist your ow SharePoit 2010 eviromet. That process of applyig the cotets of this book to your ow farm is the most importat thig you ca do with it. As we said, we uderstad this is easier said tha doe. Trust us, after writig those prit chapters, we kow all too well how dautig, diverse, ad difficult SharePoit disaster recovery ca be. Makig it eve more difficult is the fact that it is ot just a techical problem; it is t ecessarily somethig you ca solve by throwig a tool or a script at it. Effective SharePoit disaster recovery also requires careful plaig; total buy-i ad participatio from your eviromet s users, sposors, ad admiistrators; thorough testig; ad much more. As iformatio techology (IT) professioals, we kow that it s a commo trap to focus o respodig to challeges like these with the use of techology. That s why we spet so much time at the start of this book talkig about the otechical aspects of disaster recovery, i the hopes of grabbig your attetio by coveyig the importace of that iformatio. 1 2 SharePoit 2010 Disaster Recovery Guide We ve defied the situatios discussed i the comig pages with the itet of pullig together both the techical ad otechical cocepts from Chapters 1 through 12 ad utilizig them to show you how certai solutios ca be used to properly protect a eviromet based o those cocepts. Now, it s importat to remember that these are called sample scearios for a reaso: there is o oe right way to solve ay of these situatios. Far too may variables ca play ito the desig process for a disaster recovery sceario for us to be speakig i absolutes i this chapter. (Remember, the best aswer to give for a IT-related questio is usually, It depeds. ) Istead, our goal is to outlie oe potetial solutio for each situatio ad give you some isight ito how that decisio-makig process works. That way you ca apply those lessos to your ow eviromet. Much as a good rug ca really tie a room together, our goal for this chapter is to help you coalesce the diverse ad complex kowledge we ve bee throwig at you for the past 400 pages or so. The process we ve goe through to pla these situatios is similar to the process you eed to be preparig to put your ow orgaizatio through after fiishig this book. The scale, scope, costraits, ad resources may be differet for you, but the desig process should be comparable regardless of the other factors. Ay other parallels you ecouter i these situatios are goig to be gravy, so do t get hug up too much o major techical differeces you may fid. Istead, thik about how we came to the coclusios ad choices we made ad what you eed to do to drive your eviromet ad orgaizatio to a successful disaster recovery solutio that s right for you. The scearios that follow are listed i order of the size ad complexity of the SharePoit 2010 eviromet i questio, from least to greatest. Agai, please keep i mid that these are samples, ot absolutes. Your mileage for the specifics of a give example may vary, but the true iteded value for them is i seeig the process, cosideratios, ad decisios that we used to put each of them together. The Sigle Server Farm Eviromet This truly is the simplest of the may ways a orgaizatio ca deploy SharePoit 2010: a sigle server ruig almost everythig that SharePoit eeds to fuctio icludig SharePoit itself, Iteret Iformatio Services (IIS), ad some form of SQL Server ad storig all its cotet ad data locally o the same server. To be specific, let s highlight some details of the eviromet: Operatig system. Microsoft Widows Server 2008 R2 Stadard Editio. Database. Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Express Editio. Web server. Microsoft IIS 7.5. SharePoit. SharePoit Foudatio 2010. Bous Chapter: SharePoit Disaster Recovery Case Studies ad Sample Scearios 3 Autheticatio. Active Directory is used to autheticate users, but this server is ot a domai cotroller. User base users accessig the server via local area etwork (LAN) coectios. The Situatio I each of the scearios discussed i this chapter, we are itroducig you to a fictioal compay to better illustrate the example ad add a certai reality to what we re talkig about. I this case, our guiea pig is Foo Corp, a small busiess that has implemeted SharePoit for documet cetralizatio ad collaboratio. Various departmets withi the compay have their ow site collectios, but there is o cetralized iformatio architecture i place for the farm. Foo Corp has ot customized the eviromet or istalled additioal templates or Web Parts. The farm was istalled by Foo Corp s IT admiistrator, who has limited experiece with most server platforms ad is really more of a desktop support egieer. Foo Corp s farm cosists of a sigle server with SharePoit Foudatio 2010 ad SQL Server 2008 Express, both istalled locally. (But do t worry; it did t use the dreaded Basic istallatio optio.) This server is a virtual machie ruig i a Microsoft Hyper-V Server physical host. It has oe cotet SharePoit 2010 Web applicatio hostig the three departmetal site collectios that its users collaborate i ad upload cotet ito. Because Foo Corp uses SharePoit as a cetralized documet storage utility, it is importat to protect the cotet placed ito it, but the compay does ot believe that is ecessary o a frequet basis. Although Foo Corp does store documets about its busiess i the eviromet, it is also careful to set scaled-back expectatios for the SharePoit farm. Users uderstad that this is ot a redudat system ad do ot expect high availability (HA) or resiliecy. Also, because the farm supports Foo Corp s busiess operatios istead of directly implemetig them, there is o direct urgecy i how quickly a outage ca be resolved or whe a restoratio eeds to be completed i the evet of a disaster. Foo Corp s requiremets for the farm s recovery poit objective (RPO) require that cotet be backed up every week, but its recovery time objective (RTO) is much more geerous, allowig for up to two weeks to restore the SharePoit 2010 eviromet after a disaster. The Solutio Admittedly, we re startig with a straightforward sceario without may big movig pieces. Everythig is icely located o oe server for us, ad because SharePoit has t had customizatios deployed to it, we ca focus o the cotet that has bee saved ito it ad protect it i the best maer possible. The iterestig thig is that there are a lot of ways to solve this disaster recovery problem: backig up SharePoit, backig up SQL, ad perhaps copyig the virtual machie s files o the host server. The good ews is that you ca cosider ad use ay of these optios, depedig o the situatio ad its costraits. 4 SharePoit 2010 Disaster Recovery Guide Iitially, Foo Corp seriously cosidered usig the SharePoit Cetral Admiistratio site to maually back up the farm every week, usig the approach described early i Chapter 9, Share- Poit 2010 Cetral Admiistratio Backup ad Restore. The drivig force behid this proposed solutio is that Foo Corp s IT admiistrator was ot comfortable with the complexities of SQL Server backup or PowerShell scriptig but felt good about usig Cetral Admiistratio site s graphical backup tool. Her oly other experiece with backups i Foo Corp s eviromet was schedulig regular backups o every server with the Widows Server Backup tool. Luckily for Foo Corp, cooler heads prevailed ad poited out the dagers of usig a uscripted, uscheduled process as the key compoet of the disaster recovery pla to protect its SharePoit farm, a risk that is i o way worth the coveiece of the Cetral Admiistratio site s backup tool. Istead, Foo Corp opted to go with the Widows Server Backup tool to back up both its server ad its SharePoit eviromet. As you may have oticed i Chapter 5, Widows Server 2008 Backup ad Restore, we did ot discuss how to use Widows Server Backup directly to back up a etire SharePoit farm; without additioal cofiguratio, it ca t. Sure, it could back up the data files of SharePoit s databases, but ot the farm itself. But Foo Corp did some research ad discovered that by takig advatage of a STSADM.exe operatio called RegisterWssWriter, it could cofigure its server s Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) writer to use it with SharePoit. (For more iformatio o VSS ad how it works, make sure to review Chapter 11, SharePoit 2010 Disaster Recovery Developmet. ) The use of this operatio allows the Widows Server Backup to back up ot just the operatig system ad its files, but the SharePoit eviromet istalled o it. Oce Foo Corp cosidered this fidig, the compay realized it was a viable solutio providig the compay with all the proper fuctioality ad was still withi the meas of its techical capabilities ad resources to deliver. What s Good About the Solutio Let s look at why this approach works well for Foo Corp. Simplicity. The most importat determiig factor i this equatio for Foo Corp is its eed for a solutio that protects its SharePoit eviromet i a simple, repeatable maer ad ca be successfully executed by its admiistrator. Because she had already exhibited experiece ad success with the Widows Server Backup tool, Foo Corp s IT admiistrator was able to easily replicate her cofiguratio o the compay s SharePoit server, takig care to also iclude SharePoit Foudatio 2010 i the backup that she was schedulig o the server. Effective coverage. Foo Corp s top priorities are the documets ad data that it s storig i SharePoit. The Widows Server Backup tool allows the compay to easily protect those assets through backups of both the server s file system ad SharePoit itself. Cosistet solutio. As we ve already metioed, this is a tool already i use throughout Foo Corp s servers, ad there is defiite value for Foo Corp i beig able to reuse a solutio that is cosistet with its existig backup strategy. Bous Chapter: SharePoit Disaster Recovery Case Studies ad Sample Scearios 5 What Needs to Be Improved As with most IT solutios, there are certai risks ad trade-offs to accout for with this approach. There s othig wrog with that, ad i fact our purpose i this ad the other examples to come is to highlight some of those risks ad drawbacks so you ca better uderstad them ad their potetial impact o your ow SharePoit 2010 disaster recovery solutio. Sigle poit of failure. There is a defiite risk i usig oly oe solutio to back up a eviromet. Eve though the IT admiistrator is comfortable with the Widows Server Backup tool ad used it successfully i the past, that does t mea its backup tool is goig to work 100 percet of the time. The problem for Foo Corp is that it does t have the meas to augmet its IT staff with someoe who has experiece with other optios like SQL Server backups or PowerShell scriptig, so it s a risk the compay is willig to take. (Also, the compay was t aware of outstadig resources o the subject that may be available, such as SharePoit 2010 Disaster Recovery Guide.) Foo Corp does pla to at least schedule simple full-farm backups with the Backup-SPFarm cmdlet o a regular basis for additioal coverage, but it eeds to resolve some storage space issues before settig that up. Lack of expadability. Microsoft recommeds agaist usig Widows Server Backup to protect SharePoit data i multiserver farms. Should Foo Corp choose to expad its farm dow the road, the compay eeds to decide if it wats to modify its disaster recovery strategy to go agaist Microsoft s recommedatio ad update its use of the Widows Server Backup tool to back up the SharePoit farm so it ca accommodate multiple servers. Alteratively, it could use a differet solutio to back up its SharePoit 2010 eviromet ad retai the Widows Server Backup tool to protect the other files ad platforms o its servers. Requires maual storage maagemet. Because there is o built-i fuctioality i the Widows Server Backup tool to archive or delete out-of-date backup files, Foo Corp s admiistrator must hadle this task i additio to ruig backups by had. Beyod simple maagemet of the storage files, Foo Corp is strugglig to fid eough space to store more tha two or three full backups at a time, somethig it wats to do to preserve a historical view of its cotet. Foo Corp is curretly evaluatig Amazo s Simple Storage Service (also kow as Amazo S3) as a possible remote storage locatio for its historical backup files. Wrappig It Up It looks like doig its homework has really paid off for Foo Corp. By leveragig the RegisterWss- Writer operatio for STSADM ad the Widows Server Backup tool, the compay is able to protect its SharePoit 2010 farm with a solutio that it s already usig to protect other servers i its eviromet. Sure, there are some log-term issues with expadability ad storage maagemet that Foo Corp eeds to address, but RegisterWssWriter meets the compay s curret eeds somethig that a lot of smaller orgaizatios have to focus o to survive. Foo Corp must uderstad that as the usage of its SharePoit farm icreases, so does the eed to re-examie its Share- Poit disaster recovery pla, but for the time beig, it is i a pretty good positio. 6 SharePoit 2010 Disaster Recovery Guide The Two-Tier Farm Eviromet Now we begi to add a few more movig parts ito the equatio by separatig the hostig of SharePoit s databases to a separate server ad leavig all of SharePoit s roles o the other. Here are the details of the eviromet: Operatig systems. Microsoft Widows Server 2008 R2 Stadard Editio. Database. Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Stadard Editio. Web server. Microsoft IIS 7.5. SharePoit. SharePoit Server 2010 Stadard Editio. Autheticatio. Active Directory is used to autheticate users, but these servers are ot domai cotrollers. User base users accessig the server via LAN coectios. The Situatio The orgaizatio usig this SharePoit Server 2010 eviromet, we ll call it Bar LLC, is a small busiess that has implemeted SharePoit for its documet maagemet ad collaboratio capabilities to make it easier to update ad share documets amog its employees. Teams have their ow sites, ad a cetral site has bee created to cotai corporate ews ad iformatio. Bar LLC has kept the eviromet simple, with o third-party customizatios or code havig bee deployed to it. Bar LLC does t have a large IT staff; the farm was built by its loe IT admiistrator who is well versed i Widows Server ad SQL Server admiistratio but has limited experiece with SharePoit. Their users are storig busiess-critical cotet i the eviromet ad usig it more ad more heavily o a daily basis, so essetial data ad resources that eed to be protected are beig stored i SharePoit. Bar LLC s farm cosists of oe SharePoit Server 2010 server, ad its databases are hosted i Bar LLC s cetral SQL Server 2008 istace. It has oe cotet SharePoit 2010 Web applicatio that hosts all the site collectios that its users collaborate i ad upload cotet to. This Web applicatio hosts five site collectios: oe servig as a itraet home page, three departmetal home pages with collaborative subsites, ad oe site collectio hostig collaboratio ad documetatio for a short-term project to implemet a ew customer relatioship maagemet (CRM) product for Bar LLC. The itraet home page is set as the default browser home page for all of Bar LLC s employees. The home page ad the three departmetal sites are accessible by all of Bar LLC s employees ad cotai critical busiess data that caot be lost. Much like Foo Corp from the previous example, Bar LLC has made sure to set its expectatios for the SharePoit farm realistically. Agai, there is o aticipatio of HA or resiliecy. Bar LLC also has leiet requiremets for the time eeded to resolve a outage, although its requiremets are more striget tha Foo Corp s. But because the farm is used to support Bar LLC s busiess Bous Chapter: SharePoit Disaster Recovery Case Studies ad Sample Scearios 7 operatios rather tha directly implemet them, there is o direct urgecy i how quickly a outage ca be resolved or whe a restoratio eeds to be completed i the evet of a disaster. Bar LLC requires cotet to be backed up every 24 hours for the farm s RPO, but its RTO is more flexible, allowig for up to two weeks to restore the SharePoit 2010 eviromet after a disaster. The Solutio Yes, this is aother fairly simple problem to solve, but it s importat to uderstad that the equally simple solutio for Bar LLC ca be used i a variety of situatios, as log as requiremets, expectatios, ad cofiguratios are scaled back to meet the same requiremets for simplicity. I this case, the best solutio for Bar LLC is to back up its farm s databases directly i SQL Server usig the database platform s built-i backup tools. (For more iformatio o these tools, see Chapter 7, SQL Server 2008 Backup ad Restore. ) Give the limited resources ad experiece with SharePoit, this solutio allows Bar LLC to focus o protectig the most importat aspect of its SharePoit eviromet its cotets usig a tool its admiistrator is comfortable with. What s Good About the Solutio This approach works well for Bar LLC for several reasos: Cotet protectio. It s bee metioed a few times already, but the critical compoet of this system that eeds to be backed up is its cotet. There are o customizatios to take ito accout. SQL Server backups of the farm s databases esure that its cotets are preserved o a regular basis ad that its other databases are available either for restoratio (i the case of the cofiguratio database; see Chapter 10, SharePoit 2010 Commad Lie Backup ad Restore: PowerShell, for more iformatio o how to accomplish this with PowerShell) or for referece (such as service applicatio databases). Schedulig. Because SQL Server backups ca be scripted ad scheduled, the process of backig up the farm s databases ca be automated. Automated backups remove the huma elemet from the disaster recovery process, esurig a higher level of cosistecy ad success. Cosistet with Bar LLC s other disaster recovery solutios. Some of Bar LLC s other platforms are already backed up through SQL Server, allowig for possible reuse of scripts or processes to back up the farm s databases. This also makes the backup process more maageable, because admiistrators should already be aware of this process for other platforms. Familiar techology. Yes, scripted backups of the SharePoit 2010 farm ca be created usig SharePoit 2010 s ew PowerShell cmdlets (agai, see Chapter 10 for more iformatio), but Bar LLC s admiistrator is far more comfortable with SQL Server tha SharePoit 2010 ad PowerShell. 8 SharePoit 2010 Disaster Recovery Guide What Needs to Be Improved But that s ot to say that SQL Server backups are a perfect solutio. There are some drawbacks to the approach, which Bar LLC is curretly at ease with. However, you should re-examie this approach as use ad adoptio of the SharePoit 2010 eviromet grow over time. Sigle poit of failure. Just like Foo Corp, Bar LLC faces a defiite risk i usig oly oe solutio to back up a eviromet. What happes if the SQL Server backup process fails or its backups become corrupted? Although the likelihood of this is low, Bar LLC plas to address this issue by thoroughly testig ad implemetig scripted SharePoit backups via PowerShell cmdlets i the ext six moths as it builds greater competecy ad comfort with SharePoit admiistratio. Requires geerous RTO. Because the focus of this approach is o protectig the farm s cotet, it does ot cosider how to completely cover its cofiguratio ad setup data. To restore the farm usig SQL Server backups, take the time to istall SharePoit o a ew server, build a ew farm, ad restore t
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