Data recovery firm Kroll Ontrack recently released a tool which allows users to restore objects from native Microsoft SharePoint backups to any machine without the use of a separate recovery server.

Kroll has been successful in helping users recover data from physically damaged hardware, and the company also markets Ontrack PowerComtrols a software that restores Microsoft Exchange files.

With Kroll’s release of PowerControls 5.1, the company hopes to capitalize on the growing popularity of SharePoint, Microsoft’s enterprise content management and collaboration portal, to gain a stronger foothold on the enterprise space.

Barry Dop, manager, enterprise software group, for Kroll Ontrack, said the company aims to streamline recovery procedures that have been an issue with some SharePoint users.

For instance, restoring individual objects from SharePoint backup files require users to build a separate recovery server to restore full instances of SharePoint. Only then can users proceed to extract the object.

Free native backup tools in SharePoint, also requires each file to be restored to the same site or workgroup within the SharePoint farm.

Dop said these are some of the same issues that plagued users on Microsoft Exchange years ago.

He said that with the emphasis on arching for e-discovery and compliance purposes, Kroll’s new offering can help many companies save on the cost of archiving.

The hardship comes from the having to build a file storage server which could store up more than 100 gigabytes of data in order to make sure that the production environment data is not overwritten, said Troy Ronning, assistant engineer, enterprise software, at Krol Ontrack.

“With PowerControls, there’s no need for a recovery server and data can be pulled back within four to eight hours,” Ronning said.

He also said companies can also cut on overhead cost since the tool can be ran on a laptop or desktop

PowerControls 5.1’s ExtractWizard uses Kroll’s proprietary tool to extract the data, meta data and log files associated with an object and then restore that object to any SharePoint site.

ExtractWizard can also restore the file to non-SharePoint repositories for legal review or compliance purposes. It performs only restores, and doesn’t back up files.

“The tool is nice for quickly recovering unintentionally overwritten documents or items from a SharePoint 2007 backup,” said Andrew Zimmer, an application administrator and SharePoint portal specialist.

“The fact that you do not have to attach the content databases to SharePoint to recover files or items is a real time saver, he added.

Other products in the market such as EMC’s NetWorker 7.5 and Symantec’s Veritas NetBackup 6.5.3 offer more granular backups from SharePoint files but do not as yet offer the same flexibility. Both products don not export data to different sites of outside repositories.

Products with granular restore capabilities often require users to purchase full software packages. PowerControl costs around $800 for one content database.

Firms that are forced to work with native tools for SharePoint backup because of budgetary constraints can find a lot of functionality on the cheap with Power Controls, according to Zimmer.

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