Back in March I wrote a blog post titled “Using RBS to Exceed the 200GB Content Database Limit” which outlined some of the SharePoint 2010 boundaries and limits. In that post I stated that you cannot use Remote Blob Storage as a method for exceeding the 200GB per content database support limit. As was expected, there were a few people who didn’t agree with this and challenged the information that was in the post. Unfortunately at that time the SharePoint Boundaries and Limits document on TechNet didn’t specifically discuss RBS storage in relation to the content databases, therefore I wasn’t able to direct users to official documentation.
On July 8, 2011 an updated SharePoint boundaries and limits document was published that includes several changes related to SharePoint 2010 with Service Pack 1. The first change I want to highlight is a note attached to the general content database usage scenario which still limits the database size to 200GB. This note says “If you are using Remote BLOB Storage (RBS), the total volume of remote BLOB storage and metadata in the content database must not exceed this limit.”. This note confirms the information that I had original wrote about in March and provides clarification to much confusion around the subject. If you are using or plan to use RBS, this is a very important concept if you wish to have your SharePoint environment remain supportable by Microsoft.
Another major change to the boundaries and limits document is the increase in the maximum supported content database size if you have a disk sub-system that meets required performance levels and you have developed plans for high availability, disaster recovery, future capacity and performance testing. The new maximum supported size per content database is 4TB for all usage scenarios. If you are using SharePoint for just archiving information then there is no explicit content database limit.
When you increase the size of your content databases you are also providing the ability to store more items within the databases. Microsoft has published a new limit called “content database items” which states “The largest number of items per content database that has been tested on SharePoint Server 2010 is 60 million items, including documents and list items. If you plan to store more than 60 million items in SharePoint Server 2010, you must deploy multiple content databases.”
Now before you go changing your SharePoint configuration so you use the larger content databases you need to fully read and understand the notes associated with these limits in the boundaries and limits document. Each of these new support limits have a series of hardware, configuration or support requirements that must be met and fully understood. You must also deploy Service Pack 1 to your SharePoint 2010 environment in order to receive support from Microsoft when using the new support limits and boundaries.
The Official SharePoint Team Blog has additional information on the data storage changes.
SharePoint Server 2010 capacity management: Software boundaries and limits
Using RBS to Exceed the 200GB Content Database Limit
Content DB sizing support in SharePoint 2010 SP1: the 50,000 ft view
SharePoint 2010 – Now in New Mega Size!
The SharePoint 2010 4TB content database limit fine prints – just a warning!
Managing Multi-Terabyte Environments