5 1 0:SharePoint Backup

From SEPsesam

Welcome to the latest SEP sesam documentation version 5.1.0 Apollon. For previous documentation version(s), check documentation archive.


SEP sesam provides a SharePoint extension which enables you FULL/COPY backup and restore of the SharePoint Server in a single and distributed server environment with MS SQL Server and SharePoint.

The SharePoint Recovery Pro plugin (Ontrack PowerControls for SharePoint) is a powerful recovery solution for Microsoft SharePoint Server that allows you to browse or search through backed up items (documents, blog entries, etc.), and restore entire SharePoint sites or single items (documents, lists, folders, etc.).

Note that SharePoint Recovery Pro is only supported on Windows systems. Once you have obtained a license, it will be delivered in two packages: Ontrack PowerControls for SharePoint (must be installed on the system that serves as the SEP sesam Server or RDS) and Ontrack agent for content transfer (must be installed on the SharePoint Server).


The SharePoint Recovery Pro (Ontrack PowerControls for SharePoint) license is always issued for the size of the MS SQL databases and log files. To estimate the SQL size, count the size (GB) of all data (*.mdf) files and transaction log (*.ldf) files. If the size of your *.mdf and *.ldf files is larger than the size specified in the license, you will not be able to restore your data using SharePoint Recovery Pro.

To obtain a license, contact SEP sesam sales by using SEP contact page or by email: sales@sep.de.

Key features

  • SEP sesam currently supports FULL and COPY backup levels for SharePoint. With these backups, all data defined by the backup task is backed up, regardless of when it was last modified.
  • By using the Advanced Search Agent for SharePoint the administrators can quickly access the archived items. It enables searching the backed up SharePoint database files by keyword, item type, user or date, rather than performing a full restore to find a single lost item.
  • Administrators can perform a single item recovery by simply searching, dragging & dropping the selected items to the target destination, which can be a live environment or an alternate location. For details, see SharePoint Restore.
  • The integrity of your SharePoint data is preserved by preventing any data from being modified while it is archived. For example, if an administrator searches for individual items and retrieves them, their version in the archived SharePoint remains unaltered while the retrieved items are stored to the target destination with all relevant metadata.
  • Distributed SharePoint environment, also with MS SQL AlwaysOn Failover Cluster (active/passive) is supported.
A SharePoint environment with MS SQL AlwaysOn Availability Groups (AOAG) is currently not supported.


  • SEP sesam Server or SEP sesam Remote Device Server (RDS) running on Windows x64. Check Hardware requirements for SEP sesam Server, RDS and SEP sesam Client.
  • A SEP sesam data store Path, SEP sesam Si3 deduplication store or HPE StoreOnce is required for instant single item recovery.
  • If the backups are encrypted, compressed or stored on tape or a Linux data store, a manual restore to a Windows x64 system (with installed SEP sesam Client and SharePoint Recovery Pro) is required.

Step-by-step overview

Setting up SEP sesam to fully protect the entire SharePoint environment is similar to the standard environment setup with some SharePoint specific tasks.

  1. Install SEP sesam Client to all SharePoint and MS SQL Servers.
  2. Check the credentials for SEP sesam Client services. The service must be started with full administrative SharePoint access (domain admin and SharePoint farm admin).
  3. Log in as administrator on the SharePoint Server and register the SharePoint Services Writer.
  4. Configure all Servers as SEP sesam Clients.
  5. Install SEP sesam SharePoint Recovery Pro package on the SEP sesam Server or RDS.
  6. Install the license file for SharePoint Recovery Pro.
  7. Configure backups for SharePoint (more backup tasks and schedules) and MS SQL Server.

Preparing the SEP sesam environment

To be able to back up and restore SharePoint and MS SQL Servers, you have to prepare the SEP sesam environment as follows.

Installing a SEP sesam Client

First you have to download and install the SEP sesam Client package to all SharePoint and SQL Servers. For details on installation, see SEP sesam Quick Install Guide.

Checking the credentials for SEP sesam services

Make sure that the SEP sesam service is running with the rights of an AD user with sysadmin role and full access to the SharePoint Server. If the sysadmin role is not set, it must be added to the SharePoint administrator account, e.g., the user sp_sfa. If the MS SQL Server is running on another node, the SEP sesam service on that SQL Server node must run with the rights of an AD user with sysadmin role and full access to the MS SQL Server.

Registering the SharePoint Services Writer

To register the SharePoint Services Writer, log in as a SharePoint farm administrator and execute the following command with SharePoint administrator rights (e.g., qs12\sp_sfa):

#> stsadm.exe -o registerwsswriter 

For details, see the Microsoft article SharePoint VSS Writer.

The command line utility for the administration of the SharePoint Server is stsadm.exe. It must be executed with the SharePoint admin rights. It is installed in the same location as the SharePoint products and technologies:
  • SharePoint 2016: %COMMONPROGRAMFILES%\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\16\bin
  • SharePoint 2013: %COMMONPROGRAMFILES%\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\15\bin
  • SharePoint 2010: %COMMONPROGRAMFILES%\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\14\bin
  • SharePoint 2007: %COMMONPROGRAMFILES%\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\12\bin

Example for the SharePoint Server 2016:

#> "%COMMONPROGRAMFILES%\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\16\bin\stsadm.exe" -o registerwsswriter

Configuring the SharePoint Server and SQL host as SEP sesam Clients

SEP sesam backup module must be able to connect to the MS SQL Server in order to access the database data. The browsing command on the SharePoint Server is used to get the serving SQL Servers. The MS SQL Server host must be added as a client to the SEP sesam environment.

Add the SharePoint server and MS SQL host to the SEP sesam environment: Main Selection -> Components -> Clients -> New Client -> add your SharePoint/MS SQL host as SEP sesam Clients. For more details, see Configuring Clients.

If the MS SQL Server name is not present in the SEP sesam Clients table, the following error might be issued:

E004-BACKUP {task} Could not find client [xyz] in table 'clients.

The name resolution may retrieve a different name even for the SharePoint Server itself, e.g., without a fully qualified domain name (FQDN), so ensure that the proper DNS connection is set up. For details, see List of Ports Used by SEP sesam and How to check DNS configuration.

Installing SEP sesam SharePoint Recovery Pro package

SharePoint Recovery Pro consist of two packages: Ontrack PowerControls for SharePoint and Ontrack PowerControls Agent for Content Transfer Service. To obtain a license, contact SEP sesam sales by using SEP contact page or by email: sales@sep.de.

Step 1: Installing Ontrack PowerControls for SharePoint

Download SharePoint Recovery Pro (Ontrack PowerControls for SharePoint) from the link provided by SEP sales. Extract the Ontrack PowerControls for SharePoint files to a directory of your choice on the Windows x64 system, which must be a SEP sesam Server or RDS. Double-click setup.exe, only select SharePoint and follow the instructions.

Step 2: Installing Ontrack PowerControls Agent

Install the Ontrack PowerControls Agent to the SharePoint Server with an installed SEP sesam Client:

  1. Log in as administrator to the SharePoint Server.
  2. Run the Ontrack PowerControls Agent .exe file.
  3. Follow the onscreen instructions. In the Logon Information step of the install wizard, enter the user name (in a DOMAIN\username format) and password for the SharePoint farm administrator.
  4. In the Port Number field of the Agent for Content Service Setting step, use the default value or enter another available port number. In the latter case, memorize the port number as you'll have to specify it when using Ontrack PowerControls for SharePoint. Then configure the firewall to allow communication over this TCP port.
  5. In the Temporary File Location field, use the default path or browse for the new one. This location is used as a temporary storage for your SharePoint data during restore. Provide sufficient space for temporary storage to enable successful restore.

Installing the license file for SharePoint Recovery Pro

You need a special license file for the SEP sesam SharePoint Recovery Pro feature. Licenses are made available immediately your purchase/renewal is completed.

  1. From Start -> All Programs, open SharePoint Recovery Pro. The message License file not installed appears.
  2. Click the button License info and import the license.ini file.
The license counts all *.mdf and *.ldf files of all SharePoint databases. If your license size value (TB) is too small, the restore will not work!

Configuring a SharePoint backup

To fully protect your SharePoint environment, you must create different backup tasks for the SharePoint Servers and a separate task for your MS SQL Server. The procedure for creating a backup task is almost the same for all types of data, except that you have to select a relevant task type according to the data source you want to protect.

  1. Configure your backup task(s) from Main Selection -> Tasks -> By Clients, select your SharePoint Client and select New Backup Task.
  2. Specify the Source. Browse for the SharePoint Server you want to back up. By selecting the source, the task type and task name are set automatically.
  3. Click OK to create the task.

  4. Create a schedule(s) for your backup task(s). For more details, see Creating a Schedule.
  5. Tip
    You can also add your backup task to an existing schedule by double-clicking the backup task, selecting the tab Schedules and adding it to one or more schedules. Additionally, you can group your backup tasks to task groups. For details, see Adding a Task to the Task Group.
  6. Once you have configured a schedule, create a new backup event for it to specify how to back up your data to and where. Go to Main Selection -> Scheduling -> New Backup Event, under the Parameter tab select COPY or FULL backup from the Backup level drop-down list. For general details on creating backup events, see Creating a Backup Event.
  7. SEP sesam does not truncate the transaction logs of the MS SQL Server, because truncating would break the log chain and disable point-in-time restore. Therefore, you must also set up periodic backups of the MS SQL Server:
  8. When configuring a task for your MS SQL Server, specify MS SQL Server as the task type and all as the source. Schedule it to run once a week as FULL and all other days as INC backup. For details, see MS SQL Backup.
  9. Depending on whether your Server is a physical or virtual machine, perform one of the following steps to prepare for a complete system recovery:
    • If your Server is a physical machine, use SEP sesam BSR pro to ensure successful disaster recovery. For details, see SEP sesam BSR Pro – Backup Configuration.
    • If your Server is a virtual machine, start a daily VM snapshot backup of the VM. Refer to the relevant backup documentation at the Virtualization page.

You can view the status of your backup jobs by selecting Last Backup State in the Main Selection window. The backup status overview provides detailed information on the last run of backup jobs, including the task name, start and stop time of the last backup, backup level, data size, throughput, assigned media pool, etc.

As of 4.4.3 Beefalo V2, you can check the details of your backups online by using new Web UI. For details, see SEP sesam Web UI.

See also

SharePoint RestoreMS SQL Backup

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