Getting Started - SharePoint Server iDataAgent - Overview

Overview Deployment Configuration Decision
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Microsoft SharePoint Server and Windows SharePoint Services include components that are backed up by the SharePoint Server iDataAgent, as well as data which must be backed up using the File System iDataAgent. SharePoint database files can also reside on separate SQL servers; to secure this data, you must back up these files using the appropriate SQL Server iDataAgent. The SharePoint entities that can be backed up by the system are described in detail in the following sections.

Key Features

The SharePoint Server iDataAgent offers the following key features:

Full Fidelity Backup and Recovery

Document level backups allows capturing of system oriented metadata based on parameters such as modified by or version information in a canned manner so that this backed up information can be brought back as it was backed up. In place merge options determines the current state of the target entities and intelligently determines what to restore. The customization on top of base template can also be seamlessly captured during backups.

Simplified Backup and Recovery Strategy

Prior to v10, there were many options to choose from within a particular level of protection. Also there were less number of choices/strategies which optimized each level of protection. The backup and restore procedures in v10 have simplified the overall offerings as well as complexities and therefore the iDataAgent is more resilient against failures.

Fast Backup and Recovery for Content Database

Snapshot of Content databases allows for faster backups of the SharePoint data. By using the offline browse and SnapProtect feature, the same granularity of data can be recovered quickly from a snapshot.

Protect all SharePoint Components

All entities in the File System or IIS related to SharePoint are protected along with all logical SharePoint components.

RBS Aware Backup for Content Database

Content database backups are fully RBS aware* and protect RBS blobs along with databases regardless of backup methods (streaming, VSS, or SnapProtect).

*Support only Microsoft provided File Stream RBS provider.

Efficient Job Management and Reporting

You can view and verify the status of the backup and recovery operations from the Job Controller and Event Viewer windows within the CommCell Console. You can also track the status of the jobs using reports, which can be saved and easily distributed. Reports can be generated for different aspects of data management. You also have the flexibility to customize the reports to display only the required data and save them to any specified location in different formats. For example, you can create a backup job summary report to view at-a-glance the completed backup jobs. In addition, you can also schedule these reports to be generated and send them on email without user intervention.

Block Level Deduplication

Deduplication provides a smarter way of storing data by identifying and eliminating the duplicate items in a data protection operation.

Deduplication at the data block level compares blocks of data against each other. If an object (file, database, etc.) contains blocks of data that are identical to each other, then block level deduplication eliminates storing the redundant data and reduces the size of the object in storage. This way dramatically reduces the backup data copies on both the disk and tapes.

Content Indexing and Search

Content Indexing and Search enables users to content index their data and later search the data from a user-friendly web interface. The users can also perform restore operations or other advanced actions on the searched data.


The Windows File System documentation uses the following terminology:

Client The computer in which the iDataAgent is installed and contains the data to be secured.
Agent A software module in the system that performs SharePoint data protection operations.
Backup Set A group of subclients which includes all of the data backed up by the iDataAgent.
Subclient The SharePoint data to be backed up.