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Team Foundation Server Backup Tools Released

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After three major versions of Team Foundation Server, Microsoft has finally released a tool for performing backups and restores. Prior to this the seemingly simple task of performing a TFS backup required backing up to eleven databases as well as an encryption key needed for reporting services. Carefully studying the backup guidelines is highly recommended, as backups must be carefully synchronized or successful restoration won’t be possible and the databases may not even be on the same server.

The restoration process is even more error prone. To begin with there is a warning that if you change the name of the data-tier you will permanently lose Microsoft Project files stored on the server. The steps for the simplest of the three restoration scenarios are summarized below:

  1. Stop Services that Team Foundation Server Uses
  2. Restore Team Foundation Databases
  3. Rebuild the Team System Cube
  4. Delete the Version Control Cache
  5. Restart Services that Team Foundation Server Uses
  6. (Optional) Update the security identifier (SID) of the Service Account for Team Foundation Server
  7. (Optional) Update the security identifiers (SIDs) for Accounts Used to Create Projects
  8. Refresh the Data Cache on Client Computers

Using the new tool, found in the September release of TFS Power Tools, backups are scheduled via a wizard that explains what is being backed up and offers options such as also capturing the SharePoint databases at the same time.

Restorations in the simplest case, a lost hard drive, are reduced to three steps.

  1. Run “tfsservicecontrol quiesce” to shut down all TFS services.
  2. Use the Wizard to select which databases will be restored.
  3. Run “tfsservicecontrol unquiesce” to restart TFS.

While it is hard to praise a major vendor for offering something that should have been available five years ago, this tool should offer some peace of mind to admins charged with keeping TFS running.

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