Much of this pain is felt in backup and recovery, which must occur on three levels: item, site, and farm. Also, when you provision new farms, get business and IT stakeholders to physically sign off on their understanding of SLAs that apply to those farms. Also consider the impact of a staging server (usually a single server with disk space to restore the databases) in your data center. Keep in mind that SharePoint-specific backup toolsets don’t have the throughput of a SQL Server backup toolset. Disk costs are a small component; when you factor in performance degradation, staffing, backup software, and data center costs (air, power, space), the cost of having low-value data in SharePoint and SQL Server adds up.

Tools that help with this process are available, such as Microsoft Single Channel Control Module (SCCM) and the free Codeplex SharePoint Documentation Generator (SPDocGen). For example, Metalogix has a SharePoint tool that lets you use a simple Windows Explorer interface to browse content databases and retrieve content. The test plan should be used during the proof of concept or pilot operation, running end-to-end tests, and for getting stakeholders to sign off physically. This involves quality checks to verify that backups complete without errors, restores complete without errors, and backup and recovery times and restore points meet SLAs. Your tests should also check the logs and verify that the expected quantity of sites and data volumes was restored.

With this, you can monitor the jobs for successful completion, increases in duration, and exceptions. Often SharePoint backup and recovery toolsets require servers to be loaded with Windows Server and joined to the domain. If you rely on another party, work with them to obtain specifics regarding SLAs and other details.

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