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SharePoint Server 2010 Remote BLOB Storage (RBS)

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What is a SharePoint Server 2010 Remote BLOB Storage?

Remote BLOB Storage (RBS) is an add-on feature pack for Microsoft SQL Server 2008. Remote BLOB Storage in SharePoint Server 2010  and SharePoint Foundation 2010 moves the storage of binary large objects (BLOBs) from database servers to commodity storage solutions. If the content databases in Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 are 4 gigabytes (GB) or larger, consider using Remote BLOB Storage as part of your data storage solution.

By default, Microsoft SQL Server stores BLOB data in its databases. As a database’s usage increases, the total size of its BLOB data expands quickly and grows larger than the total size of the document metadata and other structured data that is stored in the database. As BLOB data can consume a lot of file space and uses server resources that are optimized for database access patterns, it can be helpful to move BLOB data out of the SQL Server database, and into a separate file.

Remote BLOB Storage uses a provider to connect to any dedicated BLOB store that uses the RBS APIs. Storage solution vendors can implement providers that work with Remote BLOB Storage APIs. SharePoint Server 2010 supports a BLOB storage implementation that accesses BLOB data by using the RBS APIs through such a provider. You can implement RBS for SharePoint Server Products by using a supported provider that you obtain from a third-party vendor. Most third-party providers store BLOBs remotely.

Remote BLOB Storage FILESTREAM

In addition to third-party providers, you can use the RBS FILESTREAM provider that is available through the SQL Server Remote BLOB Store installation package from the Feature Pack for Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2. The RBS FILESTREAM provider uses the SQL Server FILESTREAM feature to store BLOBs in an additional resource that is attached to the same database and stored locally on the server. The FILESTREAM feature manages BLOBs in a SQL database by using the underlying NTFS file system.

The location that an RBS provider stores the BLOB data depends on the provider that you use. In the case of the SQL FILESTREAM provider, the data is not stored in the MDF file, but in another file that is associated with the database.

This implementation of the FILESTREAM provider is known as the local FILESTREAM provider. You can conserve resources by using the local RBS FILESTREAM provider to place the extracted BLOB data on a different (cheaper) local disk such as RAID 5 instead of RAID 10. You cannot use RBS with the local FILESTREAM provider on remote storage devices, such as network attached storage (NAS). The FILESTREAM provider is supported when it is used on local hard disk drives only.

A remote RBS FILESTREAM provider that is available in SQL Server 2008 R2 Express can store BLOB data on remote commodity storage such as direct-attached storage (DAS) or NAS. RBS and other improved or new features of SharePoint Server 2010 make it worthwhile to upgrade from Microsoft Office SharePoint Server  2007.  Also take advantage of free SharePoint web parts or templates included with SharePoint products.

 

About the Author:

Adrian Gates (adrian@apps4rent.com) is a Business Manager with Apps4Rent; which offers Microsoft  Exchange Hosting, Windows SharePoint Services, SharePoint Foundation 2010, SharePoint Server 2010Computer Technology Articles, and virtual dedicated servers.

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