If you want to backup/restore your site collection in SharePoint 2010, you can do with PowerShell command. I’ll spilt the post in two sections. One is on how to backup/restore in the same site collection and another is how to backup from one server/site collection to another. For the former (backup/restore in the same site collection), SharePoint provides nice easy GUI page in Central Administration page. However, for second one (backup/restore between different server) you need to run PowerShell scripts.
Backup/Restore in the same server and same site collection
Sometimes you may want to backup from a site collection and your intention is to restore the backup in the same site collection. One example might be you have a site collection, say “http://myserver” and you are going to run code to test something against the site. However, you fear that running the code may break something and before you run the code, you want to backup the site so that in case running the code breaks something you can restore the backup taken before running the code. In the case, where you need to backup/restore is centered around same server and site collection, you can take SharePoint Central administration UI to do the backup/restore.
1. Navigate to the Central Administration => Backup and Restore
2. Under “Farm Backup and Restore” section click “Perform a backup”.
3. Now you’ll be landed in the following page where you can select the site or site collection you want to take backup:
4. Click next and you’ll be navigated to the following page where you can select backup type (full or differential) and backup location:
To restore follow the steps:
1. Navigate to the Central Administration => Backup and Restore.
2. Under “Farm Backup and Restore” section click “Restore from a backup”. Follow the wizard to restore from a backup.
Backup/Restore from one server to another or from one Site Collection to another (with PowerShell command)
In some cases, you have developed a SharePoint site collection in your dev or stg machine and now you want to move the site with data from dev/stg to production. In such cases the process shown in the section “Backup/Restore in the same server and same site collection” will not work. The recommended way is to use PowerShell command to take backup and restore the backup.
Backup a Site collection with PowerShell command
In SharePoint 2010, PowerShell command Backup-SPSite is used for taking backup. you can get details of the command from the msdn link. The following command will backup the site collection ‘http://myserver’.
Backup-SPSite -Identity http://myserver -Path "c:\backup\file.bak"
Restore a Site Collection with PowerShell command
To restore site collection you’ll use the following command. Use –Force if you want to overwrite the existing site collection
Restore-SPSite -Identity http://myserver -Path "c:\backup\file.bak"
However, once I had restored the backup I could not access the site. The problem was that I needed to deploy the custom SharePoint solution. So in case of site collection migration (with backup/restore) from one server to another or from one site collection to another, the steps should be:
Restore the backup.
If your source site collection (from where you taken backup) uses custom SharePoint solution, then deploy the solution in the destination site collection (where you are restoring the backup). If you try to access the site without deploying solution then you may get the site non-functional.
Now you can try to access the site.
The important point here is that if you take backup from one server to another and restore it, the custom solution related to backup doesn’t go with backup. So after restoring backup you need to manually deploy the solution on the destination server. Then it’ll hopefully work.