SharePoint 2013 Storage improvements and RBS Considerations

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As we know one of the SharePoint’s key capability is Document libraries and the files within these libraries internally stored in content databases as BLOBs along with metadata.
RBS is used to extend the storage of file outside of SharePoint to optimize the overall storage cost. With SharePoint 2013, there are architectural changes in how SQL stores files and also how WFEs deal with those files. This new capability made available is called “Shredded storage”.
So it is important to make proper design decision to leverage SP 2013’s shredded storage before considering RBS.

Let us start dive into the details to understand these concepts better.

SharePoint 2010 storage and retrieval

With SharePoint 2010, when the end user updates the document, only the changes used to be send back over MS-FSSHHTTP and the Web Server used to load the complete BLOB from database and updates the parts in it and stores the updated BLOB into Database again.

 SharePoint 2010 way of document changes are explained below

The problem with the above approach is there is overload on WFEs even when a portion of the document changed.

Now we will see how Shredded storage with SharePoint 2013 addressed the above problem

Shredded Storage:

Shredded Storage is a new data platform improvement provided with SharePoint 2013 related to the management of large binary objects.

The files are broken into pieces and stored as multiple BLOBs instead of a single BLOB. On update only the related chunks will get updated on SQL.

Shredded Storage in SharePoint 2013 optimizes I/O and provides smoother I/O patterns when compared to prior versions of SharePoint Products, and it provides storage cost benefits under conditions where historical versioning is widely used and implemented.

By default, Shredded Storage partitions data across a 64 KB boundary based on the FileWriteChunkSize property, which is configurable up to a maximum partition size of 2 GB. 2 GB is also representative of the maximum file size supported by SharePoint 2013.

Shredded storage offers the benefits like memory(content db) optimization and File I/O optimization

RBS and Shredded Storage

Remote Blob Storage (RBS) was introduced in SharePoint 2010 and continues to exist in 2013. RBS is best used to push relatively large files from being contained directly in the SharePoint content database(s) out into an actual file system.

The Blob threshold can be adjusted by “MinimumBlobStorageSize “setting which controls minimum size of files to move to RBS by the Management Shell on SharePoint server.

Let us think about both RBS and Shredded Storage

1.  RBS works best with larger blobs
2. Shredded Storage slices larger blobs into a lot of very small blobs


So the guidance is to consider RBS only when there are large files which are mainly existing for ready only purpose ex: Record Library and Archive Library.  Evaluate FileWriteChunkSize and MinimumBlobStorageSize s properly to avoid unexpected results

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About the Author

Full Name: Kiran Kolli
Member Level: Starter
Member Status: Member
Member Since: 11/11/2011 7:56:13 AM
Country: India
Having 12 years of experience in Architecture,Deisgn and development of enterprise applications using Microsoft technologies

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