The Quest LiteSpeed product is a well known product for backing up SQL Server. My evaluation of the product was simply to provide a solution for companies that could not afford to extend their existing backup systems to support fine grained backup for SharePoint. Note that Quest does have a SharePoint product but I’ve already worked with Docave so perhaps in the spring I will have some time to evaluate that product.

According to Quest:

LiteSpeed for SQL Server‘s low impact, high-performance compression technology enables organizations to reduce storage costs and SQL backup and recovery windows—while maintaining complete control over the backup and recovery process.

The LiteSpeed for SQL Server backup engine compresses data up to 95 percent, in half the time required by other backup solutions. LiteSpeed speeds up restore times through its ability to recover individual database objects and encapsulate complete database restores into a single file.

There are several editions of LiteSpeed that offer various functions and features which are described at http://www.quest.com/litespeed-for-sql-server/.

The installation of LiteSpeed is very straightforward, install the backup server engine and then the client on the SQL 2005 server. The instructions provided by Quest are very detailed and provide screen shots so that you are able to follow step by step. I simply chose the defaults and it took 10 minutes to install.

I used my lab for the testing which consists of the following servers:

  • Domain controller
  • SQL Server 2005
  • SharePoint Server 2007
  • Live Communication Server 2005
  • Exchange Server 2003

The user interface is Windows based, you simply open Enterprise Console, select the Backup Wizard option and follow the prompts. Your prompted for Server, Database and then type (Disk or Tape, full or differential) and then schedule. Also within the Enterprise Console are statistics and logs that provide detail regarding the backup jobs.

To restore using a SQL backup of the content databases, you need to take the following steps:

  • Rebuild the farm accordingly (Exactly as it was…exactly!)
  • Restore the content databses
  • Create the Web applications – When creating the new Web applications create new content databases (Do not select existing)
  • Delete the content databases then add the name of the restored database(s)

Though simple to install and use, disk storage and network planning will be required to make sure you have the capacity and speed required to backup during your window of availability – per you SLA. Additionally, your recovery plan must have process for recovering the hardware, loading software exactly as it was before content databases can be restored – assuming a SQL Server failure.

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