SharePoint Storage Management: Controlling Content Chaos

SharePoint Storage Management: Controlling Content Chaos

By Paul LaPorte | December 05, 2016

The good news is that you’ve built a vibrant collaboration environment in SharePoint that’s been adopted throughout your organization. The bad news is that you now face growing pains as users add more content.

Soaring costs, compliance requirements, and business continuity concerns make managing content storage a top day-to-day management issue.

What’s in your SharePoint?

Most SharePoint customers have over 1TB of content stored on the platform. Each year the typical SharePoint farm grows 50-75%.

Every business function and unit is adding to the content load. Marketing is creating high res images and 4K videos. Accounting and HR departments store scanned documents. The security team maintains surveillance footage and server logs. Industries such as engineering and healthcare have even more than the usual content requirements, as they manage massive CAD drawings and medical scans.

More space doesn’t make life easier.

Prior to 2016, SharePoint capped databases at 200GB and individual file uploads to 2GB. That meant many SharePoint customers had to license additional databases, which led to complex, difficult to manage deployments and confused users searching for content.

SharePoint 2016 increased database size to 1TB and a 10GB maximum file size limit. These changes mean that users can now add five times the content as before.

But, is that a good thing? Maybe not. Up to 90% of that business content is unstructured. In an out-of-the-box SharePoint environment that means the vast majority of content is not just unwieldly, it is undiscoverable. The truth is, most unstructured content is unused, redundant or obsolete.

A well-adopted SharePoint deployment can become a victim of its own success. Although SharePoint 2016 raised size limitations, it didn’t fully address the issues that accompany a bloated database. When you add more content...

  • SharePoint performance slows
  • Frustrated users look for other options, unsanctioned by IT
  • Data can be lost when slow backups time out or get overwritten before completion
  • Deployments are more complex to manage
  • Storage, licenses and maintenance costs increase

Optimize your storage architecture

Externalization of that content allows you improve performance while lowing costs. By moving unstructured content out of SharePoint and into tiered storage, you can shrink your database up to 95% and address the challenges facing a growing deployment.

With externalization, metadata associated with unstructured content remains in SharePoint, which means users can still quickly and easily find any stored asset, no matter where it lives.

For instance, you can choose to store active content in a high performance storage solution so it can be accessed by your users immediately. For content you retain primarily to satisfy compliance requirements, that can be stored in less expensive, lower performance options such as CAS or cloud-based storage.

Return on investment

Externalization is a proven storage strategy with measurable results. Metalogix customers have calculated their return in a variety of ways:

  • Cost savings. By moving 70% of your content to non-SAN storage you can save 45% of your average storage costs.  
  • Improved user experience. SharePoint speeds double when unstructured content is removed from SQL.
  • Faster backups. Backups take half the time, without data loss, and meet Recovery Point Objectives.  
  • Reduced risk. You can address compliance requirements for storage not met by SQL – the native storage environment for SharePoint.

Learn more about externalization

Download the full infographic: Managing Content Chaos.

Recently, Metalogix Chief Strategy and Product Officer Trevor Hellebuyck shared insights and best practices for storage management learned from the community of Metalogix customers. Watch the recorded webinar.


Paul LaPorte

Paul LaPorte is an expert in business continuity, disaster recovery and security. He is Director of Product Marketing for Backup and Storage products at Metalogix, and previously served as Principle Strategist for Continuity Research, and as a senior executive of Evergreen Assurance, a pioneer in real-time disaster recovery for mission critical applications.

Written By: Paul LaPorte

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