Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Migration by the numbers – Step 3

Step 3 in a series of posts documenting the Microsoft SharePoint Foundation 2010 upgrade process on SBS 2008. This is based on the document:;;displayLang=en


Step 3: Back up the existing data on your server


So before you launch into the migration process you should backup your data. Now, most people probably have a backup via SBS Backup or maybe some form of imaging tool, which is great, however it also a good idea to do a SharePoint backup. The reason for this is that if you need to you can always restore to an existing working SharePoint site (perhaps on another box). In the worst case this maybe on a virtual machine.


Before you go anywhere make sure you have enough space on the drive onto which you wish to save the backup. The default commands here will go to the C: drive but you can preface the file name with a drive and directory. So how much space are you going to need to backup your SharePoint site using these methods? Good question. To get an idea go to the location of the content databases in the filesystem (be default C:\Windows\SYSMSI\SSEE\MSSQL.2005\MSSQL\data) and look at the combined size of sharewebdb and sharewebdb_log as shown below:




if sharewebdb_log is really huge then take a look at this knowledge base article:


remember the amount of space you’ll need is roughly the combined size of both of these files.


According to the Microsoft document you need to go to the Command prompt as an administrator, then change to the directory:


C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\12\BIN


then type the following command (followed by ENTER)


stsadm -o export -url http://companyweb -filename companyweb.bak -includeusersecurity


Something like the following scroll past:




You should see that the process has completed successfully.


Now, what I would also do is another full backup of your site using the following command:


stsadm -o backup -url http://companyweb -filename companyweb2.bak


which should look something like:




Don’t forget when you use this command it will lock the site while completing the backup. This may interrupt users so probably best to schedule this out of production hours. Also keep in mind the time to complete both of these commands depends on the amount of data in your Companyweb site.


You should now have 2 backup files companyweb.bak and companyweb2.bak in the \bin directory.


The reason I’d recommend that is simply it is always good to have another backup and secondly this backup allows you to totally overwrite an existing site where as the previous export command combines sites. So if you do both you have more options which is what you want.


These commands are unfortunately going to do you no good unless you know how to use them to restore a site so I’d strongly recommend you do a restore of both methods to a test server (on virtual machine works well) if you have never done that before.