SharePoint 2010 Service Pack 1 introduced several exciting features, including the long-waited-for site recycle bin. This allows you to restore a deleted site within 30 days (default setting that can be changed) after deletion. The functionality is available to site collection administrators and can be huge relief for organizations where users tend to spend too much effort on keeping the site hierarchies “neat” and deleting everything that seems to be “not important any more”.

However, there is a gotcha you should be aware of if you rely on this functionality. The issue is already fixed in August 2011 Cumulative Update Package, but I thought I would share the info, since I could not find any KB describing it. Here you go:

Issue. A list cannot be restored from recycle bin after the parent site is deleted and restored from SharePoint SP1 site collection recycle bin.

Details. A list or document library is deleted in a SharePoint 2010 SP1 site and is available in the user recycle bin. The parent site itself is then deleted and appears in the administrator recycle bin on the site collection level. After you restore the site from site collection administrator recycle bin, the deleted list still appears in the user recycle bin, but any attempt to restore the list fails. List contents is unavailable to users.

Steps to reproduce:

  1. Create a new site in the site collection. For example, the name is New Product Version Team Site: http://MyPortal/sites/MyProduct/NewProductVersion
  2. Create a document library in the newly created site (Project Specs) and upload several documents.
  3. Delete the newly created document library. The library appears in the user recycle bin in the New Product Version site.
  4. Delete the site. The deleted site appears in the site collection recycle bin.
  5. Restore the site from site collection recycle bin.
  6. Open the restored site and go to the user recycle bin. The document library appears there as expected.
  7. Select the document library (Project Specs) and click Restore.

Expected result: The library should be restored from Recycle Bin.

Actual result (on SharePoint 2010 Service Pack 1 without August 2011 Cumulative Update Package): Restore attempt fails with error: “A list with this name “Project Specs” already exists. To restore the list, move or rename the existing list and try again.”

In addition, deleted document library (Project Specs) unexpectedly appears in the “All Site Content” after the site restore. An attempt to open the Project Specs document library from All Site Content page fails with 404 error.

Resolution: Luckily, the SharePoint team already fixed this issue, all you need is obtain and install SharePoint 2010  August 2011 Cumulative Update Package before trying to restore the deleted site. You can find information about August CU here for SharePoint Sever and for SharePoint Foundation. I only posted this issue description for reference, since there seems to be no description of the symptoms in Microsoft Support KB articles.

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It was a very pleasant and unusual experience for me this week to speak at the SharePoint Conference Russia – 2011. The conference was awesome and the crowd was much more interested in SharePoint than I was expecting. My session was the last before conference wrap up, and we stayed for almost half hour after the session for Q&A! The biggest challenge for me – surprisingly – was to keep speaking Russian, and not switch to English completely when using all the SharePoint terminology.

Having been to a number of different industry events in the US and Europe before, I cannot help comparing this conference to some of those. As far as I can tell, SharePoint Conference Russia is very close to the SharePoint Saturdays. The event is completely driven by community, in this case – Russian SharePoint User Group, and it is completely free to attend. (Thanks to the sponsors, and I am happy that my employer participated as the sponsor as well!)

There are some differences from the few of the SharePoint Saturdays I’ve seen:
  • SPConfRu had simultaneous live stream online from all 3 concurrent sessions. Never seen this at any other SharePoint event really.
  • The food was absolutely awesome :-) I’m not complaining about the food at other events, but here it was way better than one can expect to get a free event.
  • Unlike other SharePoint Saturdays, good part of the attendees were seriously looking people in good suits – IT directors and CIO’s, not a typical attendee for a free event. I think this shows there is a lack of (and the need for) SharePoint-centric events targeted more at the business users and IT decision makers in Russia. There are no SPTechCon or SharePoint Best Practices here.
  • Finally, the event was on Monday – so they had to call it SharePoint Conference instead of SharePoint Saturday :-)

So once again I’d like to say thank you to the SPConfRU organizersOksana and the team did absolutely great job, and I really look forward to more events from the user group in Russia.

BTW, here’re the slides from my “Planning SharePoint 2010 backup and recovery – where do I start?” session

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I just came across a recent SharePoint Backup / Recovery Solutions blog post by Babar Batla, Principal Solutions Specialist for Microsoft. In his list, Babar has both Microsoft Data Protection Manager 2007 and Quest Recovery Manager for SharePoint (and that’s the product I am working on). So do these products compete? Not really, they can actually complement each other! So, when do you use which?

With a recent release of Recovery Manager 2.2 we enhanced it to read and restore data from snapshots made with DPM as well as few other backup formats (see our web site for details). Adding this on top of DPM you can use the same snapshots in more SharePoint restoration scenarios:

  • Granular restore with DPM is only possible for documents and sites. Recovery Manager adds restore of any SharePoint objects, from a list item or document up to a site collection (and everything in between!) – all from the backups you already have with DPM.
  • Recovery Manager also gives more flexibility when the original server farm is unavailable: you can restore SharePoint data to an alternative SharePoint location or even a file share.
  • In addition, organizations where backup operations are centralized can benefit from using tools like Rcovery Manager and DPM together, because this allows to separate platform disaster recovery task from document and site restore, and the latter can be delegated to application specific administrators.

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The SharePoint conference is over and I am about to leave Seattle and fly back home. It was great to spend these four days here. While the show was going on, I was looking around the expo hall for the 3rd party vendors who do anything related to SharePoint backup and recovery. Here are companies I spotted (in alphabetical order):

  • AvePoint, one of the well known SharePoint backup vendors, obviously was here. They were giving away quite cool toy motorbikes, and gathered a bunch of folks at their booth on the last day.
  • EMC was present mostly with their services offering for Windows and SharePoint. They had datasheets of their Backup Manager product for SharePoint at the booth, but no live demos. So I cannot really tell more about the product.
  • Neverfail is focusing more on high availability and disk-level replication for SharePoint databases or entire farms. They kinda also talk about disaster recovery, but be careful: if anything gets corrupt in a database, replication will bring the faulty database over to the other copy. So good old backup will always be a necessary addition to such a solution.
  • Quest Software was here with Recovery Manager for SharePoint as well as its other products for SharePoint management, migration and application development. This is the company I am with, so you can tell I love these products and amazing people who work on them. If you want to learn more, watch the recent SharePoint recovery best practices video: last 15 minutes or so include the Quest product overview.

I am disappointed other backup vendors like CommVault and Symantec did not show up here. I hope this does not mean they don’t take their own SharePoint backup/restore capability seriously. Or did I miss someone out there? Let me know and I’ll update this list!

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A bunch of SharePoint backup and recovery videos were published recently on the web. So grab some coffee and prepare to spend next couple hours watching:

Enjoy!

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I recently blogged about the release candidate build of DPM 2007, and it just went RTM two days ago. One of the interesting features of the new release is support for granular recovery of SharePoint 2007 items via a staging farm environment.

The product page still has no specific datasheets or whitepapers on SharePoint protection, but there is a Protecting SharePoint with DPM webcast scheduled for November 27th. For those who cannot wait that long to learn more, 120-days trial is free and available for download (requires registration).

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Okay, it is real now: the DPM blog announced System Center Data Protection Manager 2007 Release Candidate few days ago. I am not going to talk about all cool new features of DPM 2007, there are loads of info on it’s web page (by the way, including pricing and licensing options). But one new feature I am excited about is the new document level recovery for SharePoint! And it is new in this build, actually, it was not available in Beta builds, so I cannot wait to try it live!

Unfortunately, there is not as much info available about SharePoint protection yet as for other platforms: for example, there are white papers on protecting Exchange or SQL. I would love to see similar white paper about SharePoint protection eventually, but now we have the build to explore – what are you waiting for?! Download the free 120-day trial software, try it and tell what you think about it. And here’s a great DPM installation walkthrough from Sean Earp to help – thanks Sean!

My very first observations are:

  • It does not keep data twice! Same snapshot is being used to restore entire database (or all databases within a farm) or to restore a site or just a document. Very cool, no more stressful and long site-level backups with STSADM.exe.
  • It allows browsing and searching through SharePoint contents from within the DPM Console, and selectively restore the data that you need. Way better than you could ever get from SQL backup and STSADM.
  • It requires a staging SharePoint server (all-in-one installation seems to be enough) for granular recoveries. Looks like DPM automates the good old method of re-attaching content database to a staging server, and eliminates most of the manual work this method requires from admin.
  • Document level restore only available for SharePoint Services 3.0 and MOSS 2007. You can still use DPM to protect WSS 2.0 and SPS 2003 content databases, as part of SQL protection functionality.

I will blog more about DPM and SharePoint recovery as soon as I play more with it.

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