Performing SharePoint backups with NetWorker

NetWorker Module for Microsoft Applications (NMM) uses VSS snapshot technology to backup various Microsoft applications. With NMM 2.3 we now have the ability to backup Microsoft SharePoint Portal Server 2003 with Windows SharePoint Services 2.0. NMM 2.3 supports the backup and recovery of SharePoint Server 2003 and SharePoint Server 2007.

NMM enables more granular backup and recovery than a standard VSS SharePoint save set which can only be restored in its entirety.

networker for sharepoint

To protect SharePoint, NMM must be installed on every server in the SharePoint farm. The SQL Server component can be backed up either by NMM (VSS) or via the NetWorker Module for SQL (API). Backups should be scheduled identically across all servers in the farm to ensure consistency.

SharePoint Portal Server 2003 and Windows SharePoint Server (WSS) 2.0 do not have their own VSS writers. The SharePoint Server 2003 databases are hosted on a SQL Server 2005. NMM uses the SQL Server VSS writers to first perform backup and recovery of the SQL databases. After the SQL databases are recovered, the SharePoint recovery is performed.

SharePoint 2003

As SharePoint 2003 does not have its own VSS writers, NMM uses the SQL Server VSS writers to backup snapshots of SQL database data. SharePoint recovery is performed after the SQL databases are recovered.

With the exception of Microsoft SQL Server-based Document and Picture Libraries and Web storage system-based Document Library Store and Document Libraries, only full database backup and recovery is supported.

SharePoint 2007

In addition to the SQL Server writers, for SharePoint 2007, NMM also uses the SharePoint Server VSS writers to backup snapshots of SharePoint data. This allows much greater backup and recovery flexibility with the options of farm backup, web application backup and SharePoint object backup in addition to full backup.

Granular Backups

Optionally, with SharePoint 2007, an additional client resource can be created to perform a granular NMM backup. The farm, application, site collection, site, sub-site and list objects are all available for granular backup and individual item level recovery.


Data for recovery can be selected by browsing the navigation tree in the NMM GUI or by searching the NetWorker index. NMM includes an advanced search to help locate data.

Recover options include recovering to the original location or an alternate location, adding recovered data back as a new version and allowing recovered data to inherit security permissions from parent levels.