SharePoint Central Administration comes with a graphical user interface for backup and restore operations. Its focus is to create complete backups of SharePoint's farms (portal sites), including all WSS sites, personal sites, and workspaces. This backup process does exactly the same thing as running STSADM with the Directory switch; it also will back up the index files, created by the crawler process, and truncate the SQL Server transaction log files. The features and limitations of this backup procedure are:
Can back up complete SharePoint environment, including all MOSS and WSS sites.
Can back up single web applications, but not specific site collections or sites.
Can make full backups or incremental backups.
Must be executed on the SharePoint server.
The Windows SharePoint Services Administrative Service must be running on all SharePoint servers (note that Single Server installations don't have this service started by default).
Requires Administrative rights to the SharePoint server.
This is a full-fidelity backup tool.
Must save the backup files to a file share that ends in "$" or an IP address.
This backup procedure cannot be scheduled. Use STSADM for scheduled backups
This process (along with its STSADM –o backup Directory counterpart) is the most complete backup utility that ships with SharePoint; it will make a backup of all the database files in the MS SQL server and the index files. The only thing it does not back up is any customizations ...