Every SharePoint administrator knows the challenge of dealing with SharePoint: The business wants to put everything in SharePoint so that as much data as possible is centrally located and managed; doing so, however, bloats the SharePoint SQL database and creates an administrative nightmare. How can you find your happy medium? How can you get as much data as possible into SharePoint - searchable, version-controlled, and secured - while keeping your database as trim as possible? The answer is storage optimization, and it's the subject of this book by noted industry expert Don Jones. You'll learn how to optimize SharePoint for the inclusion of large content items, external content items (like databases, shared files, and media files), and even "dormant" content that you no longer actively need - but can't afford to get rid of.
We've been promised a world where SharePoint, in many ways, becomes our entire intranet. At the very least, SharePoint is marketed as a means of centralizing all our shared data and collaboration efforts. Conference speakers tell us that we should migrate our shared folders into SharePoint, integrate SharePoint with back-end databases, and make SharePoint the "dashboard" for all our users' information needs.
In many regards, SharePoint can do all of that-but the price can be prohibitive. Why? That's what this chapter is all about: The problems that can arise when SharePoint becomes the centerpiece of your information sharing and collaboration. This chapter will define the major challenges and goals for SharePoint content.
One of the biggest uses of SharePoint is to store large content items. Unfortunately, those are also one of the biggest contributors to massively‐larger SQL Server databases, slower database performance, and other problems. One of the most important topics in today's SharePoint world is optimizing SharePoint to store these large content items.
What Is "Large Content?"
Large content, in this context, refers primarily to the file attachments stored within SharePoint. Microsoft refers to this kind of content as unstructured data, as opposed to the more structured, relational data normally stored in a database. As outlined in the previous chapter, SQL Server's default means of storing this kind of data is as a Binary Large Object (BLOB), usually stored in a column defined with the varbinary() type. Physically, SQL Server keeps a pointer on the actual data page, and spreads the BLOB data across several pages. Figure 2.1 illustrates how the row data page provides a pointer to sequential BLOB pages.
Figure 2.1: BLOB storage in a SQL Server database.
Shared folders. External databases. Even media files—audio, video, and so on. We want it all in SharePoint so that it's version-controlled, secured, and searchable—but can we afford to bloat the SharePoint database with that much content? Adding all that content will not only result in a pretty sizable SharePoint database but also take up a lot of expensive SharePoint storage. However, with the right tools and techniques, you can bring that content "into" SharePoint, while keeping it stored "outside," helping to optimize your SharePoint storage and maintain a smaller, more manageable SharePoint content database.
By sponsoring a book with Realtime Publishers, you will connect your technology company with thousands of IT professionals who need information on the technology topic of your choice. Realtime Publishers works with only the best authors in the IT field to produce expert-level publications that appeal to and educate the IT professional audience.
Visit sponsorships.realtimepublishers.com to learn more about our wide array of sponsorship and content marketing opportunities.