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Sizing your Content Databases: Understanding the Limits


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Did you know that Microsoft now supports content databases up 4TB and beyond? Hang on though—before you design or adjust your information and service architectures, there are a number of assumptions, …

Did you know that Microsoft now supports content databases up 4TB and beyond? Hang on though—before you design or adjust your information and service architectures, there are a number of assumptions, caveats and trade-off choices you must understand. We'll discuss these and how database size affects performance, content recovery, and day-to-day administration tasks. We'll then look at various techniques to help you scale out your storage tier. We close the session by sharing the very latest guidance on employing using RBS (Remote BLOB Storage) in your environments.

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  • Introduce concept of documents being stored as BLOBs in CDBBUILD: Diagram of architectureDiscuss storage growthBUILD: Bloat of data, mostly inactiveBUILD: Burden on CDBsDiscuss need to thin about storage holistically: lifecycle, compliance, SLAs, cost
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    • 1. Sizing Your Content Databases: Understanding the New Limits Randy Williams AvePoint
    • 2. Randy Williams • Enterprise Trainer & Evangelist – AvePoint • 20+ years in IT ● developer, consultant, trainer, author • Three-time SharePoint MVP • Speaker at many global conferences @tweetraw
    • 3. Agenda Understanding Remote BLOB new limits storage (RBS) 1 2 Achieving 3 4 Summary larger Q&A capacities
    • 4. Agenda Understanding new limits 1
    • 5. The SharePoint storage dilemma• Documents, databases, and BLOBs• Storage growth SharePoint SQL Server 2008/R2 Content Database Content Content Database Database Active Content Actual Content
    • 6. Previously supported limits Large, single -site repositories 1 TB and archives General use (records 200 GB scenarios center) 100 GB site collection ** A larger site collection is supported if itis the only site collection in the database
    • 7. Revised limits (July ‘11) Document No archive explicit scenario: All scenarios: limit caveats 4 TB caveats apply General use apply200 GB scenarios Site collection No explicit size – limit by scenario, database size, item count
    • 8. Understanding scenarios• SharePoint is multi-purpose• Scenario primarily refers to needs and usage patterns ● Read/write centric ● Concurrent users ● Average/peak loads ● Recovery objectives• Isolate different usage patterns to separate databases
    • 9. Common scenariosRecord Center Team Site• Long term retention • Day to day collaboration• Low volatility – very few w/ shorter retention write operations • Higher volatility• Limited reads • Higher readsLarger databases Smaller databases
    • 10. What are the 4TB-level caveats? • A larger db requires faster storage ● Between 0.25 – 2.0 IOPS/GB ● 4TB DB : 1000 IOPS minimum • Plans developed for DR/HA • Capacity planning/perf testing • Recognize added complexity ● Skilled architects and proactive admins • 60M total item limit per db
    • 11. What are the >4TB caveats? • All 4TB caveats, plus • Document Center or Record Center only • In any given month ● <5% of content accessed ● <1% of content modified • No alerts, user workflow, item-level security, et al
    • 12. Why is 200GB still a good number?• Support operations are much easier• Better performance ● The larger the db, the slower it gets• Easier to meet backup and recovery objectives ● Most recoveries begin with a db restore ● Can you meet your recovery objectives?• Patching / upgrading is faster 200 GB
    • 13. Why are larger DBs slower?• Select queries take longer ● More rows to filter, group and sort• Write queries take longer• Locking escalation ● More blocking• More data, but data cache same size• DB maintenance takes longer ● reindex ● dbcc checkdb
    • 14. What happens as size increases?
    • 16. Agenda 2 Achieving larger capacities
    • 17. Achieving storage performance• Storage array (RAID 1+0) ● 10 300GB SAS drives, 15k RPM ● 1.5 TB effective space ● ~1500 IOPS = 1.0 IOPS/GB• Set of drives (RAID 1+0) ● 4 750GB SATA drives, 10k RPM ● 1.5 TB effective space ● ~300 IOPS = 0.2 IOPS/GB• Go with higher quality storage ● SAS > SATA ; SAN > DAS
    • 18. Scaling storage• Multiple storage arrays (RAID 1+0)• Break out into multiple LUNs• Add additional data files to DB, one per array F:SP_DocCenter_1.mdf• Advice G: SP_DocCenter_2.ndf Data ● Many smaller drives > H: SP_DocCenter_3.ndf I: SP_DocCenter_4.ndf fewer larger ones J: SP_DocCenter.ldf Log ● RAID 1+0 > RAID 5
    • 19. Additional performance guidance • How many data files? ● Advice varies – between 0.25 to 1 per physical CPU ● Each on a different spindle/LUN • Adjust database growth settings ● Use 50-100MB for each data file ● Use 20-40MB for log • Enable instant file initialization • Optimize tempdb ● Use multiple data files ● Pre-size to 25% of largest db ● RAID 1+0
    • 20. Demo (if time permits)DB SETTINGS AFFECTPERFORMANCE
    • 21. Achieving Disaster Recovery • Built-in SharePoint backup is incapable of working with large capacities ● Site collection backup limit : 15GB ● Practical database backup limit : 200GB • Look at your backup/recovery objectives ● Most recoveries involve a database restore • Look for third-party solutions • Deploy SP1 – site recycle bin
    • 22. Agenda Remote BLOB storage (RBS) 3
    • 23. Remote BLOB Storage (RBS)• Storing document (BLOB) outside database ● Reduce database size• Cannot be used to scale beyond database limits ● Effective size = DB size + BLOB store• Can externalize based on document size• Built in RBS support with SQL Server 2008 (FILESTREAM provider)
    • 24. Overview of BLOB externalization Pointer (stub) RBS Upload SQL Server Web Front-endExternalized BLOB istransparent to both File SystemSharePoint and its users
    • 25. Advantages of externalizing BLOBs• Reduce storage costs• Increase performance ● Read & write ● All other activity by users of the DB and SQL server• Access to features of BLOB storage platform• Efficient content restructure ● Shallow copy in SP1
    • 26. Advantages of keeping BLOBs inSQL• One storage container to ● Maintain ● Monitor ● Recover• Tier I storage ● Performance relative to lower tiers of storage benefits all content access• SQL caching ● Performance of reads/writes of small documents ● SQL caching benefits reads
    • 27. RBS Guidance• Consider using in document-heavy databases• Trade off ● Storage cost & performance benefits versus ● More complex architecture (support, DR, HA)• Consider third party providers ● More full-featured solutions• In general ● Do not externalize <1MB documents ● Ideal number varies widely
    • 28. Agenda 4 Summary Q&A
    • 29. In review• 4TB is the new supported limit for all scenarios• No limit for record/document centers• Keys to achieving larger sizes ● Storage performance planning/testing ● DR/HA planning/testing• RBS offers benefits but does not extend these limits
    • 30. Your Feedback is Important Please fill out a session evaluation form drop it off at the conference registration desk. Thank you!
    • 31. Questions? @tweetraw