This weekend (Friday night and Saturday morning) I had to do some work for a customer of ours. I had to split up databases for SharePoint Portal 2003, so that every Top Level Site (aka Site Collection in MOSS 2007) had his very own database. This because the databases were getting too large and for several reasons it's better to split them up. See also my post about that topic.
It was already the second time I was at that place to split databases. The first time (in the beginning of July)we weren't able to split up the last database because the command line restore failed. Yes, we tried twice and it failed twice.
So why did the command line restore fail?
Their production environment is totally installed on VMware (SharePoint server and SQL Server). Well, a common problem with databases (SQL, Oracle, ...) and virtualization software (like VMware) is I/O. When I did my restore, I kept getting I/O errors in the SQL Logs and the restore left hanging. We're talking here about a Top Level Site with a 10 to 15 GB size (11 GB in July, 15 GB last weekend, so it's growing).
How did we get it to work this weekend?
Well, their test environment are physical machines.
So I restored the command line backup to a new database in the test environment.
Guess what... It worked like a charm.
Of course, I'm only guessing that VMware is here the cause, but I/O and SQL Server is an issue. And it did work on physical machines.
Anyways, the job was done, the databases are online and all split up nicely.
A happy client, thus a happy System Engineer.
Keep On Trucking