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Backup – Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 Search

One of the most critical components of Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 to many businesses is search and often is a key component of business processes.  To ensure consistent and recoverable content is available to end-users, it becomes necessary to periodically backup the search components in the event of a catastrophic failure or issues requiring the rebuilding of the search component. Since re-crawling all content sources may not be practical or efficient in many cases, Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 has streamlined the search component backup and restore process. Some key notes follow:


The ability to query an index relies on two key search components:



  1. The index file propagated to the front-end web servers from the designated query server machine

  2. The Shared Services Provider Search database


NOTE Backing up only the index file requires the SSP in addition to be searchable by users.How do I backup my index file and SSP Search database?


Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 has made the index backup and restore process heterogeneous, meaning a server farm’s index file and SSP search database can be backed up and restored from one central location, in this case, Central Administration.


Step 1


Open Central Administration and select the Operations tab.


Under the Backup and Restore options, select Perform a backup.


From the Perform a Backup – Step 1 of 2: Select Component to Backup window, select the Shared Services Provider component, this component includes the sub-components of the SSP content database, Shared Services database, User Profile Application, Session State Shared Application and the index component on the file system.


Click Continue to Backup Options


Step 2


From the Start Backup – Step of 2: Select Backup Options window, specify the type of backup as either Full or Differential and the backup file location. A Full backup will backup all of the components selected in step 1 including all history, a Differential backup can be run periodically to backup any and all changes to the component selected in step 1 since the previous Full backup.


Click OK to commit the changes.


Step 3


The backup status will be displayed once the Timer Job is scheduled and committed in the Backup and Restore Status window. This page also supplies options to view the history of previous backup and restore operations. History logs are stored in the directory specified to host the backup files and can also be reviewed by selecting the Backup and Restore | Backup and restore history option under the Operations tab in Central Administration.  Alternatively STSADM can be used to display a history of backup and restore operations that have been run using -o backuphistory; use STSADM -help backuphistory to generate a list of available commands.


Step 4


If the backup process is not indicated in the Backup and Restore Status window, verify the SharePoint Timer Service is running – additionally you can inspect the Timer Job Definitions under the Operations tab in Central Administration by checking the status of the Backup/Restore job.

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Windows SharePoint Services 2.0 vs. 3.0 Incremental Crawl

In a recent conversation with a colleague I was asked the differences between Windows SharePoint Services 2.0 and 3.0 incremental crawls and the availability of results and thought I would share and explain briefly the differences here:


In Windows SharePoint Services 2.0 when an incremental crawl is run, SharePoint determines whether or not a document has changed and should therefore be included in the incremental crawl results. It does it by performing a hash of the document, if the hash is different between crawls, then so is the document and the document is readily; though, perhaps not immediately available to search results, but are available prior to any complete crawl being run successfully.


For the Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 these rules have changed; the crawler uses the Windows SharePoint Services change log to inform itself of changes made to a site collection. This change log informs the crawler whether items have been added, modified, or deleted and the crawler managed the change according to those variables and will always append to the existing index on the indexer and makes the results immediately available.


In retrospect, the item is not available in search results until it is crawled and propagated (seconds) in Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007. It does not wait for the crawl to complete, but happens on an ongoing basis. The key to achieving the most current results propagation are frequent incremental crawls.

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Improve the Overall Full-Text Search Queries for Large Database Tables

This post is a continuation on previous SharePoint Portal Server 2003 performace recommendations and details basic steps to improve the overall full-text search queries for large database tables.  The steps detailed are most applicable to enterprise deployments and/or large databases with a large number of unique full-text index words.  The steps detailed below should be applied to each back-end SQL server(s).


This problem occurs frequently if the total size of all the catalog files exceeds 256 megabytes (MB).
If you experience performance issues with a full-text index, you must change the MaxPropStoreCachedSize Registry key value in the Windows Registry. The Registry key path is:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftSearch1.0Indexer
The REG_DWORD of the MaxPropStoreCachedSize key controls the memory, in megabytes (MB), that a catalog caches. The value of the MaxPropStoreCachedSize key is the maximum memory that each search instance can allocate.
The MaxPropStoreCachedSize value must be five percent more than the total size of all the catalog files. The size of the catalog files is the sum of the sizes of the category file extensions (*.ps1 and *.ps2). Adjust the MaxPropStoreCachedSize value accordingly to assure an optimum use of virtual address space. You must be cautious when you adjust the MaxPropStoreCachedSize value because a reduction in the cache size may affect the performance.


http://support.microsoft.com/?id=303459

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SPS Gathering Manager Recommendations

I recently came across an issue with a customer that uses large files in WSS, notably, .CAD files; as a result these files were either – one, not indexed or two, indexing did not gather the required information from the file to provide useful search criteria.  To remidy the issue MaxDownloadSize was increased to 64MB while leaving the MaxGrowFactor at 4, this will essentially permit the index filter to produce up to 256MB (64 x 4) of text from a given file, the default setting in SPS is 16MB MaxDownloadSize and 4 MaxGrowFactor, limiting the index filter to 64MB max.

To set the MaxDownloadSize on an Index/Job server:


  1. On the taskbar, click Start, and then click Run.
  2. Type regedit, and then click OK.
  3. In Registry Editor, navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESoftwareMicrosoftSPSSearchGathering Manager.
  4. In the details pane, right-click MaxDownloadSize, and then click Modify.
  5. In the Edit DWORD Value dialog box, in the Value data box, type the number for the maximum size of file that can be crawled. Ensure that Base is specified as Decimal.
  6. Click OK. Close Registry Editor.
  7. Perform an Incremental (inclusive) crawl.

To set the MaxGrowFactor on an Index/Job server:


  1. On the taskbar, click Start, and then click Run.
  2. Type regedit, and then click OK.
  3. In Registry Editor, navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESoftwareMicrosoftSPSSearchGathering Manager.
  4. In the details pane, right-click MaxGrowFactor, and then click Modify.
  5. In the Edit DWORD Value dialog box, in the Value data box, type the number for the grow factor which is multiplied by the MaxDownloadSize to determine the maximum size of a file that can be indexed. Ensure that Base is specified as Decimal.
  6. Click OK. Close Registry Editor.
  7. Perform an Incremental (inclusive) crawl.

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Recommendations to Improve Crawl Performance Post SPS Service Pack 2

SharePoint Portal Server 2003 Service Pack 2, by default, will disable some features previously distributed in service pack 1; this article will key in on feaures specific to search and indexing recommendations to improve crawl performance post-service pack 2 and correct features disabled in service pack 2.

Prevent the indexer from enumerating local groups on WSS crawled content.

1. Click Start, click Run, type regedit, and then click OK.

2. Locate and then click the following registry subkey:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESoftwareMicrosoftSPSSearchGathering Manager

3. On the Edit menu, point to New, and then click DWORD Value.

4. Type IgnoreWSSLocalGroups, and then press ENTER.

5. Right-click IgnoreWSSLocalGroups, and then click Modify.

6. In the Value data box, type 1, and then click OK.

7. On the File menu, click Exit to quit Registry Editor.

Enable single threaded filter extensions.

Add the WSSSingleThreadedFilterExtensions registry entry to the following registry subkey, and then specify the file name extensions that you want:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESoftwareMicrosoftSPSSearchGathering Manager

To do this, follow these steps:

1. Click Start, click Run, type regedit, and then click OK.

2. Locate and then click the following registry subkey:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESoftwareMicrosoftSPSSearchGathering Manager

3. On the Edit menu, point to New, and then click String Value.

4. Type WSSSingleThreadedFilterExtensions, and then press ENTER.

5. Right-click WSSSingleThreadedFilterExtensions, and then click Modify.

6. In the Value data box, type the file name extensions that you want. The following are two things to consider when you type file name extensions:

7. Do not use a period character (.) before each file name extension that you type.

8. Separate each file name extension with a semicolon character (;).

For example, if you want to use the single-threaded filter for .jpg files, for .pdf files, and for .gif files, type the following line in the Value data box:

jpg;pdf;gif

1. Click OK, and then click Exit on the File menu to quit Registry Editor.

2. Restart the Microsoft SharePointPS Search service. To do this, follow these steps:

3. Click Start, click Run, type cmd, and then click OK.

4. Stop the Microsoft SharePointPS Search service. To do this, type net stop sharepointpssearch at the command prompt, and then press ENTER.

5. Start the Microsoft SharePointPS Search service. To do this, type net start sharepointpssearch at the command prompt, and then press ENTER.

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