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The Primary Goals of Storage Optimization

There’s not a single SharePoint deployment that isn’t currently interested in Microsoft’s EBS/RBS solution. By releasing the two APIs “External BLOB Storage” and “Remote BLOB Storage” for SharePoint – Microsoft reduced the picture of storage optimization to the lowest common denominator and created a thriving (albeit crowded) community of solutions centered around cutting storage costs associated with SQL.

But in the midst of EBS and RBS buzz being fed by every hardware company, from start-up to behemoth, we thought it’d be good to bring everyone back to the essentials. From a company that has been in the storage optimization space since 2006, prior to the launch of EBS and RBS that catapulted this issue to the forefront, we thought we’d start with the essentials: What’s the big picture?

The more content you introduce into SharePoint over time (and everyone introduces more content to SharePoint over time), the worse performance will be, the longer it will take to reach aggressive SLAs for backup, and the higher the overall cost of storage infrastructure. As I mentioned, AvePoint has been providing solutions for these three big questions since 2006. Regardless of how our tools have been used, the reports back to us have always come positively in one of the three areas above. I’ll be diving into each of those three areas with customer examples in coming posts. But what is fundamental to all three is that whatever solution we provide – we must retain data accessibility! Legal contracts haven’t changed in the last 3 years? Task lists getting long? Projects sites getting old? That’s good to know, but that doesn’t mean I can remove them from my data protection strategy, or discoverability, in SharePoint. We could go on with examples – but picking a solution needs to be transparent. EBS and RBS handles this for the majority of files, but what if we’re talking about more than unstructured data here? We need a way to take content offline, out of the SharePoint ecosystem, but still maintain accessibility! The DocAve Archiver applies business rules to content, externalizes using EBS and RBS to save storage costs, but allows you to detach content from SharePoint over time, without losing any fidelity. All metadata is preserved. Full-text searches can still be performed. Records can still be retrieved! It’s not always about just pulling your files off to cheaper storage. Because it’s still part of SharePoint – and consequently your SLAs – your backup time and overall performance cost is still high. In spite of what other vendors have made of the 200 GB database limit, Microsoft included, it’s not all about the database size. You could have a 1 TB database with a few large items in it and suffer no performance problems. Simply changing the architecture doesn’t reduce the number of items, but risks me now introducing far more content into an already taxed database.

It’s all about the number of items – unstructured or structured. The only resolution for this is to have a strategy to take content offline. You can use Microsoft records management tools, but you lose the accessibility aspect after pruning data. DocAve Archiver is the only solution that will not just help you lower cost of DB Ownership, but cap your SharePoint growth, lower the amount of content included in your SLA, increase performance, and still maintain accessibility through SharePoint as needed. Stop the exponential data growth, without losing your data. Moving this content to file shares will not attenuate this curve at all, but simply shift the expense to a lower tier. You need a holistic solution to this problem. Download DocAve Archiver and customize your business rules to make this a reality for you today.


  1. How do you reduce the size of the DocAve Auditor DB from 42 GB to something less costly to the organization’s storage footprint?


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