As I’m studying for Microsoft SharePoint certifications, I came across the “Remote BLOB Storage” topic. It’s an interesting technique, allowing you to store BLOB files (documents, videos, images, etc.) outside of SQL Server. The main reason why you’d want to do that is performance. SQL doesn’t handle those BLOB things that fast and they fill up your database. So you turn on RBS, files are stored on disk and everyone is happy again.
But there’s another opportunity RBS gives you. At the moment, my job involves the larger enterprise farms. But I have seen a lot of single server SharePoint installations as well. Many companies starting off with SharePoint Foundation out of budgetary reasons: keep listening. SQL Express is the “light” version of SQL. It’s pretty well featured, it’s 100% supported running SharePoint on top of SQL Express. One disadvantage is the 10GB database size limit. You reach that, you need to pay.
But using RBS / FILESTREAM in SQL Express, your files won’t be stored in the content database any longer. And the documentation clearly states:
SQL Server Express supports FILESTREAM. The 10-GB database size limit does not include the FILESTREAM data container).
That stretches the limits on the SQL Express scenario’s quite a bit! And it only takes a little bit of configuring. So when you want to postpone buying those expensive SQL licenses a bit more; check out RBS! For a normal intranet SharePoint farm in a small company, your databases won’t reach 10GB very soon. The only one you probably need to watch when storing a lot of documents is search.
Should you feel like sending me a small percentage of the money you just saved yourself, you’re quite welcome to 😉