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December 2011

SharePoint 2010 remote BLOB storage: A ‘large’ step up on storing data

Since SharePoint was first released, Microsoft has used SQL Server as the underlying data management and storage mechanism. Although SQL Server is adequate for storing SharePoint data, it isn’t always ideal. The reason for this is that like most relational databases, SQL Server is optimized for storing structured data, such as configuration, table and list data. However, the files that are typically stored in SharePoint document libraries are not structured. When a user saves a file to a SharePoint document library, that file is saved to the SQL Server database as blob, or binary large object, data. There is no rule that says blob data can’t be kept in SQL Server, but SharePoint Server 2010 provides the option of moving it out of content databases and into less costly storage resources through Microsoft’s Remote BLOB Store add-on software. Architecturally, SharePoint 2010 remote blob storage is somewhat similar to SQL Server storage. The blob data isn’t merely offloaded onto a file share. Instead, an external storage medium (...

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