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SharePoint® 2010 Administration: Instant Reference by Milan Gross, Randy Williams

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Back Up and Restore a Site Collection

A site collection backup is a complete, full-fidelity backup of a single site collection. Full-fidelity means that all content and the state of the site collection are preserved in entirety. Site collection backups are useful when you need a full-fidelity backup but do not want to back up a whole content database. For example, you might have a training area stored in a site collection, and you periodically need to restore it to its original state.

When a site collection backup runs, SharePoint extracts from the content database only the table rows that are specific to the site collection. This makes a site collection backup more overhead intensive and slower than a content database backup. For this reason, ...

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