SharePoint 2010: Improve SharePoint 2010 Performance with RBS

By Iqbal Khan

SharePoint has become an extremely popular portal platform. It provides a great number of applications for collaborating among different company groups or even between different companies. Process management, document management and other major applications are all part of SharePoint’s array of features.

But SharePoint’s popularity has its downside as well. As more people use it, there can be major performance and scalability bottlenecks because SharePoint makes a heavy use of SQL Server database for everything. This could include structured data or documents coming from Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Adobe Acrobat. All these documents are coming from the database.

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Performance Issues

There are two potential issues associated with SharePoint 2010. One: Databases can grow exceptionally large because of all the binary large object (BLOB) data. Two: Reading and writing BLOBs, as well as other relational data, can slow down SQL Server performance because it’s not the ideal place for storing BLOBs.

Relational databases are designed to handle structured relational data. Their architecture is geared toward that. Microsoft has added support for BLOBs, but it’s not the ideal situation. On the other hand, the file storage is designed to store files, which are basically streams of data or BLOBs.

SharePoint 2010 is heavily document-centric with Word, Excel, PDF, and PowerPoint files. That vast number of large documents quickly makes the database larger than is practical. As a result, SharePoint performance can take a hit. Figure 1 shows the performance issues associated with the SQL Server database and BLOBs.

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