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How to backup SharePoint using PowerShell

Lately I've been reading up on - and experimenting with - PowerShell to automate alot of the tings I do in SharePoint. The original motivation was a deployment gone bad (ie. too many manual steps + too little time = too many errors) and it got me rethinking my whole approach to managing SharePoint.

My previous attempts at automating the build -> package -> deploy process with a .bat file calling MSBuild and STSADM commands had failed miserably about two years ago. It would not wait for the solution to finish retracting before trying to remove it, or it would try to activate a feature before the solution was finished deploying, etc. Also, since it was one giant monolithic script, any errors early on in the process would cause all sorts of problems.

There are ways to deal with this in .bat files, but they don't even come close to the cool stuff you can do with PowerShell! Therefore I'm planning on writing a couple of posts about using PowerShell to manage SharePoint based on the things I've been trying out so far. Keep in mind that I'm still learning and some of the stuff I write about might be stupid, inefficient or downright wrong. With that disclaimer out of the way I present my first PowerShell script: Performing a full farm backup.

# This function performs a complete backup of the local farm
function SP-Backup-Farm {

	param (
		[Parameter(Mandatory=$true, ValueFromPipeline=$true, Position=0)]

	process {

		Write-Host "Attempting full backup of the farm."

		# Create the backup settings
		$Settings = [Microsoft.SharePoint.Administration.Backup.SPBackupRestoreSettings]::GetBackupSettings($BackupFolder, "Full");

		# Set optional operation parameters
		$Settings.IsVerbose = $true;
		$Settings.UpdateProgress = 10;
		$Settings.BackupThreads = 10;

		# File size details
		$BackupSize = New-Object UInt64
		$DiskSize = New-Object UInt64
		$DiskFreeSize = New-Object UInt64

		Write-Host "Backup Location:" $BackupFolder

		# Check that the target folder exists
		if (Test-Path $BackupFolder)
			Write-Host "Backup Location Exists: True"

			# Backup operation details
			$BackupID = [Microsoft.SharePoint.Administration.Backup.SPBackupRestoreConsole]::CreateBackupRestore($Settings);
			$BackupObjects = [Microsoft.SharePoint.Administration.Backup.SPBackupRestoreConsole]::FindItems($BackupID, "Farm");

			# Get file size info
			$BackupSize = [Microsoft.SharePoint.Administration.Backup.SPBackupRestoreConsole]::DiskSizeRequired($BackupID)
			[void][Microsoft.SharePoint.Administration.Backup.SPBackupRestoreConsole]::DiskSize($BackupFolder, [ref]$DiskFreeSize, [ref]$DiskSize)

			# Check if there is enough free disk space
			$HasEnoughSpace = $false
			if ($DiskFreeSize -gt $BackupSize)
				$HasEnoughSpace = $true

			$BackupSizeString = Util-Convert-FileSizeToString $BackupSize
			$DiskSizeString = Util-Convert-FileSizeToString $DiskSize
			$DiskFreeSizeString = Util-Convert-FileSizeToString $DiskFreeSize

			Write-Host "Total Disk Space:" $DiskSizeString
			Write-Host "Free Disk Space:" $DiskFreeSizeString
			Write-Host "Required Disk Space:" $BackupSizeString

				Write-Host "Sufficient Free Disk Space: True"

				# Set the backup as the active job and run it
				if ([Microsoft.SharePoint.Administration.Backup.SPBackupRestoreConsole]::SetActive($BackupID))
					$BackupObjectCount = $BackupObjects.Count

					Write-Host "Successfully set backup job as the active job."
					Write-Host "Backup consists of $BackupObjectCount object(s)"
					Write-Host "Backup Started"

					foreach($BackupObject in $BackupObjects)
						if (([Microsoft.SharePoint.Administration.Backup.SPBackupRestoreConsole]::Run($BackupID, $BackupObject)))
							Write-Host "Backup Completed"
							Write-host "An unexpected error occured!" -ForegroundColor Yellow
							Write-Host "Backup Failed" -ForegroundColor Yellow
					Write-Host "Unable to set backup job as the active job." -ForegroundColor Yellow
					Write-Host "Backup Failed." -ForegroundColor Yellow
				Write-Host "Sufficient Free Disk Space: False" -ForegroundColor Yellow
				Write-Host "Backup Failed" -ForegroundColor Yellow
			Write-Host "Backup Location Exists: False" -ForegroundColor Yellow
			Write-Host "Backup folder doesn't exist or the service account does not have read/write access to it." -ForegroundColor Yellow
			Write-Host "Backup Failed." -ForegroundColor Yellow


		# Clean up the operation
		if (!$BackupID -eq $null)

# This function returns a "user friendly" display value for a filesize in bytes
function Util-Convert-FileSizeToString {

    param (
		[Parameter(Mandatory=$true, ValueFromPipeline=$true, Position=0)]

    switch ($sizeInBytes)
        {$sizeInBytes -ge 1TB} {"{0:n$sigDigits}" -f ($sizeInBytes/1TB) + " TB" ; break}
        {$sizeInBytes -ge 1GB} {"{0:n$sigDigits}" -f ($sizeInBytes/1GB) + " GB" ; break}
        {$sizeInBytes -ge 1MB} {"{0:n$sigDigits}" -f ($sizeInBytes/1MB) + " MB" ; break}
        {$sizeInBytes -ge 1KB} {"{0:n$sigDigits}" -f ($sizeInBytes/1KB) + " KB" ; break}
        Default { "{0:n$sigDigits}" -f $sizeInBytes + " Bytes" }

The convert bytes to string function was something I found on another blog and adapted to PowerShell, so I can't really take credit for that one. Also it took about 3 hours to do a full backup on my VMWare machine with about 50GB of content databases. Your milage may vary...

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