Formed in 1989 with only ten employees and $50,000 in capital, Chesapeake Energy has grown into the second-largest producer of natural gas, a top- fifteen producer of oil and natural gas liquids and the most active driller of new wells in the United States. Headquartered in Oklahoma City, the company’s operations are focused on discovering and developing unconventional natural gas and oil fields onshore in the U.S. The company has also vertically integrated its operations and owns substantial midstream, compression, drilling, trucking, pressure pumping and other oilfield service assets.
- Before: 149GB SharePoint 2007 farm
- After: 2.61GB SharePoint 2007 farm
- Metalogix StoragePoint
Chesapeake Energy had deployed SharePoint 2007 and its use had rapidly increased within the organization. However, the company was hesitant to do more with SharePoint because the content databases were becoming increasingly difficult to manage. In searching for a way to get its content databases under control, Chesapeake Energy outlined several requirements they needed to manage content without negatively impacting its SharePoint environment.
The company was looking to reduce its content database by at least 75 percent – this was the minimum reduction for its SharePoint needs. They also needed a solution that would cause no impact to the out-of-the-box SharePoint functionality and end-user experience. Chesapeake Energy needed this because there were dozens of internal use case scenarios that exercised content within and outside of the SharePoint user interface.
Chesapeake Energy initially reached out to Microsoft for help, who in turn engaged Metalogix. At a Microsoft-sponsored conference at the Dallas Microsoft Technology Center, Chesapeake Energy met with the Metalogix team and began discussing how to implement Metalogix StoragePoint to meet and solve their storage challenges.
StoragePoint reduced our largest database by over 98%, exceeding our expectations and driving our purchasing decision.
We’re confident StoragePoint will alleviate issues in our growing environment and have started exploring new ways to leverage SharePoint on a larger scale
To start the process, Chesapeake Energy provided an image containing a copy of one of their production environments for use in the proof of concept and the Metalogix team installed and configured StoragePoint in the production environment in only ten minutes. The Chesapeake Energy team was stunned – they assumed the process was going to take several hours. With the install and configuration completed, the StoragePoint externalization job was run to remove existing content BLOBs (unstructured SharePoint data known as Binary Large Objects) and place them on the configured SAN.
The second step of the process began when StoragePoint shrank the content database via the SQL Server Manager Studio. By the second day, the database shrinking process was complete and they moved onto the use case and performance testing.
Chesapeake Energy then ran a full crawl to confirm that externalized content was still being crawled and what impact StoragePoint had on crawl and index performance. As a point of reference, it was taking Chesapeake Energy roughly seven hours to perform an incremental crawl without StoragePoint and the company had stopped doing full crawls because they were taking too long. After the full crawl finished, the Chesapeake Energy IT was skeptical because it was completed so quickly. Full testing confirmed that all the externalized BLOB content had been crawled.
Chesapeake Energy conducted more use case testing, including everything from simply uploading a document from the user interface to dragging a document from Windows Explorer, opening it, editing it and dropping it back into an Explorer window and back into SharePoint through WebDAV. Every test performed worked as expected.
The content database size of the company’s SharePoint environment was reduced by 98.1%, shrinking from 149GB to 2.6GB. As outlined by Chesapeake Energy’s requirements, there was no impact to SharePoint functionality or end-user experience.
“StoragePoint reduced our largest database by over 98%, exceeding our expectations and driving our purchasing decision,” Mark Wiley, IT Manager, Chesapeake Energy.
While there were no specific measurements take on individually uploaded or retrieved documents, Chesapeake Energy said that it was notably faster. The company did measure crawl performance and found that a full crawl took four hours and forty-nine minutes, which was a dramatic and impressive reduction from the seven hours they were spending to run only an incremental crawl. In total, the entire proof of concept was completed in just two days, compared to the five days Chesapeake Energy expected it to take.
“We’re confident StoragePoint will alleviate issues in our growing environment and have started exploring new ways to leverage SharePoint on a larger scale,” said Wiley.