SharePoint 2010: Never Use Networker (NMM) for SharePoint Granular Backups

SharePoint 2010: Never Use Networker (NMM) for SharePoint Granular Backups

SharePoint server has become a very popular enterprise application to enhanced collaboration. As the quantity and value of data stored on SharePoint platform rises, backup and recovery becomes critical and it proves to be a challenge for administrators.

SharePoint offers full farm backup options out of the box: First, the web-based Central Administration backup and restore. Second, command-line backup tool stsadm.exe. Third option is SharePoint Designer.
Unfortunately, these three options have some limitations: no true item level restore option (if a single item needs to be recovered, the entire site must be restored), manually front end backup necessarily , high restore time, frustrating command-line utilities, no back up directly to tape, no custom solution files backup, no IIS backup, no alternate access mappings backup.

Because of the intricate nature of SharePoint server and its vital mission, companies investing in the platform should look for reliable backup and recovery solution able to provide complete range of protection. And since out of the box solution does not offer that level of protection, a third-party solution would be a good investment. This article presents most notable third-party backup and recovery solutions available on the market. Did I miss anything? What is your choice for SharePoint backup and recovery?

For my actual project I had to find backup solution for our Intranet. I proposed as any other SharePoint Administrator DPM, but my request has been refused. My client wanted to use the actual Backup solution that already was operational. Yes I am speaking about “NETWORKER”.
So I went to the official site for reading what EMC could do for me, and saw that I had to install a specific module for backuping my Farm.

EMC NetWorker Module for Microsoft Applications provides online backup and recovery for Microsoft® Office SharePoint Server and Microsoft® Windows SharePoint Services (WSS). Backup Manager for SharePoint protects your information to support continued operation while providing a safety net to ensure data availability for your compliance needs.
Features and Benefits

  • Online disk-based protection: Recover data without application shutdowns for maximum availability and access to SharePoint services and data.
  • Granular backup/restore: Reduce time-to-recover with item-level restores to original or alternate locations.
  • Automated scheduling: Perform automated backups at designated times through Microsoft® Windows Task Scheduler.
  • Site/object auto-detection: Select and protect critical content up to the second when you use Backup Manager for SharePoint.
  • Full/incremental backups: Protect data within backup windows while maximizing backup storage resources.
  • Easy-to-use interface: Manage backups, site browsing, scheduling, and restore with little or no training.
  • Large-site backup optimization: Speed backups of complex sites with large numbers of items.
  • Bulk import: Save time by importing multiple files into document libraries, bypassing one-at-a-time SharePoint uploading


I wanted to be sure and made some research and the first thing I read wasn’t something positive. You can check the following comment on the following site:

So after multiple meetings and conference calls the Backup Team and AIX team voted for networker (NMM) instead of DPM.
For SharePoint Server 2010, NMM provides the following backup and recovery support:
Backup of:

    • SharePoint Server 2010 stand-alone farm
    • SharePoint Server 2010 distributed farm

Recovery of:

    • Farm
    • provides details.
    • Individual content database
    • Individual web application
    • Search service application

The application data save sets for SharePoint Server 2007 are applicable for
SharePoint Server 2010 without any change in the syntaxes.
Only the usage type for SharePoint Server 2010 writers, OSearch14 and SPSearch4
VSS writers, has changed from system data to user data. The save set syntax starts
With APPLICATIONS: \ rather than SYSTEM COMPONENTS:\. Specify the SharePoint Server 2010 data save sets in the Save Set attribute of a client
resource. The following image will show you the lists the SharePoint Server 2010 save set syntax that specifies the supported types of SharePoint Server 2010 data.

Afther putting your save sets on Networker (NMM) you should display a list of the SharePoint Server 2010 save sets that are available for backup:

  • Open a command prompt on the application server.
  • From the command prompt, type the following command to list the valid save set names:
    • To list the save sets for SharePoint Server 2010:

nsrsnap_vss_save -?

    • For complete details about the save sets:

nsrsnap_vss_save -v -?

    • Press Enter:

Each line of output corresponds to a save set entry that you can add to the Save Set attribute of a client resource.

    • Each entry that you add to the Save Set attribute must be typed on a separate line. The save sets that are available for backup are listed in a format similar to the following: “APPLICATIONS:\Microsoft Office SharePoint Services” Note: Remove the inverted commas when copying the save set name from the output

Performing SharePoint Server 2010 backup

Ensure that the following requirements are taken care of before performing
SharePoint Server 2010 backups:

  • The NetWorker client and NMM are installed on all the web front-ends,

application servers, and SQL database servers.

  • The SharePoint services writer is registered, so that save sets can be browsed and backup is successful. Note: When registering the SharePoint Server 2010 writer using the stsadm.exe –o registerwsswriter command, ensure that this command is executed on each and every web front-end servers on the farm, to back up the entire SharePoint Server 2010 farm. Note that this is unlike the SharePoint Server 2007 backup workflow where it is not necessary to run this command on all the web front-end servers but only on one web front-end server that is running the services. To register the SharePoint services writer for distributed configurations:
  • The SharePoint VSS writer must be registered on each web front-end server.
  • Use the command line STSADM.exe utility. Go to the following location for the STSADM.exe: C:\Program Files\Common files \Microsoft Shared \Web server extension\14\BIN
  • Type the following command to register the SharePoint writer: run STSADM -o registerwsswriter. When registering the SharePoint Server 2010 writers by using the stsadm.exe -o registerwsswriter command:
  • Ensure that this command is run on each and every web front-end server in a SharePoint Server 2010 farm.
  • This requirement is unlike the SharePoint Server 2007 backup workflow, where it is not necessary to run this command on all the web front-end servers but only on one web front-end server that is running the services. To view the search service application component name in NMM GUI, you must ensure that the SharePoint_Shell_Acces database role membership is enabled on SharePoint configuration database (SharePoint_Config).


Performing SharePoint Server 2010 full farm recovery
You can recover a web application that was completely deleted, but to do this you must first recover SYSTEM COMPONENTS:\ and C:\inetpub before performing the SharePoint Server writer recovery. Only content databases cannot be recovered from a deleted web application.

To perform SharePoint Server 2010 full farm recovery:

  • Open NMM on the web front-end that was used to perform the backups of the SharePoint Server 2010 writer.
  • Browse the SharePoint Server save sets.
  • Click Recover.

A dependency dialog box appears, alerting you to go to the specified hosts and start the recovery processes for the listed components.
Note: On the SQL server, recover all the SharePoint databases that are listed in dependency dialog box, like all content databases, configuration databases, search databases, and so on. System databases, like master and model databases, can be excluded during the recovery.

  • After the recovery is complete, return to NMM in the web front-end, and click Continue in the dialog box.

Note: The configuration database must be first selected and recovered, before recovering web applications and service applications.

  • Recovery proceeds to completion. Details about the recovery display in the Monitor window.
  • Restart the machine, if prompts, to finish the recovery


After configuring our Networker (NMM) I could see this screen on my backup server.

But actually what I wanted to have the following screen. Whatever I did, I couldn’t receive this screen. Multiple reboots, reinstalls, configurations …


You can check here for more information about this screen.
Actually each Backup software should backup files, this is the business core of a Backup Software but what me interests is the granular backup of SharePoint. After spending hours of work and brainstorming on one of the PDF that you can download from EMC you can find the following:

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