Managing Microsoft SharePoint Data Growth

This blog is co-authored by Jennifer LuPiba Dell Quest Software and Maggie Smith Dell Storage

Microsoft SharePoint is the fastest growing content
management application and is deployed in more than 80 percent of Fortune 500 companies.
Given the exponential growth of SharePoint within enterprises, how do IT managers architect a consistent,
consolidated storage infrastructure that reliably protects the SharePoint user data and manages the unique and dynamic
data growth that SharePoint farms generate?  How do they get their arms around SharePoint data growth?

To manage this growth all while extracting SharePoint’s full business value, organizations need data management
solutions that minimize SharePoint storage costs, reduce management overhead, and scale seamlessly,
all whilst improving performance and response times.  Where do you start?

Here is a five point plan to help choose the right storage and data management strategy for your growing SharePoint system.

#1: Start with virtualized storage
Abstracting the physical from logical storage resources gives
SharePoint administrators greater operational control, simplifies
configuration changes and responds dynamically to changing needs. In fact, by
using a virtualized storage infrastructure, blocks of storage can be allocated
as needed from a centralized pool of resources. This action can  increase storage
utilization by nearly 80 percent compared to less than 50 percent for a typical
physical storage implementation.

#2: Move from protecting storage to self-protecting storage.  Take advantage of built-in data protection
tools that automatically and intelligently snaps, replicates, and copies SharePoint
data stores to local and remote storage resources.  Sleep better at night knowing the SharePoint
environment is always protected.

#3: Use a unified storage architecture for optimal
SharePoint performance. For best performance, Microsoft recommends maintaining file sizes below 1MB
withinthe underlying SQL Server database.  Consider using a unified storage
infrastructure that aligns “hot” data to the highest performance storage tier,
and stores SharePoint BLOBS (binary large object files) via NAS so the
SharePoint infrastructure performs optimally well.

#4: Make administration more efficient by centralizing SharePoint storage.
Intelligent storage arrays handle routine storage management, load balancing
and provisioning operations in a way that is transparent to administrators.
Automated tasks require only minimal intervention through a common intelligent
interface while the system remains online.

Be prepared for the next SharePoint upgrade. 
Migrating the old to the new does not have to be time consuming and
expensive. Externalizing SharePoint
data to storage designed to manage unstructured data more efficiently than SQL
server will make the upgrade that much easier and faster.  Microsoft provides two APIs for
externalizing the data – external BLOB storage (EBS) or remote BLOB storage
(RBS), but does not provide an interface for either of these technologies. To
externalize SharePoint data with EBS/RBS you either need to hand code it or use
a third party tool to streamline the process and provide data externalization
recovery. It’s important to note that externalizing SharePoint data simply
refers to where the SharePoint data is being stored; end users will still have
access to any external SharePoint data stores.

Choosing the right storage is critical fora successful SharePoint implementation. The right
choice can support greater scalability and flexibility that’s responsive to your
business needs.  Using these five steps is a good start towards a successful SharePoint
data growth strategy.

 For more information on how Dell can help you select the right storage, please
visit the Dell Storage SharePoint webpage,

About the Author: Maggie Smith