SharePoint 2010 Beta with FILESTREAM RBS Provider

You may have already been busy trying different new fancy features of SharePoint 2010. Time to try something really hardcore for IT Pro! Remote Blob Storage is always what people are asking for – to put blob objects outside of SQL Server database, directly on file system or on some storage solutions like Documentum and FileNet. In such way, it may provide cheaper storage or better performance. SharePoint 2010 support RBS, and also can leverage SQL Server FILESTREAM RBS provider for customers to try out the capability.

In SharePoint 2010, FILESTREAM RBS Provider is also used for getting around the 4GB database limitation in SQL Server Express. Given the fact that SharePoint Foundation 2010 (used to be called Windows SharePoint Services v4) is no longer a part of Windows Server operating system, it will not use Windows Internal Database. So when Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 users are trying to upgrade their farms, they may have an internal database larger than 4GB, which would pass the limitation of SQL Server Express. There will be a prompt to let user download this FILESTREAM RBS Provider to put large blob objects on file system, store the rest like metadata, configuration in databases. In this way, the limitation of SQL Server Express can be bypassed. But, at the same time you should consider to move to other SQL Server editions. With the growth of the databases, SQL Server Express and Windows Internal Database are not the choices for scalability.

Note: FILESTREAM RBS Provider does not always provide better performance. We will release document on TechNet for recommendation and planning.

You can also consider using a third party RBS provider.

Documentation (Updated on 12/04/2009)

Overview of BLOB storage

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee748607(office.14).aspx (SharePoint Foundation 2010)

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee748649(office.14).aspx (SharePoint Server 2010)

Install and configure Remote BLOB Storage

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee663474(office.14).aspx (SharePoint Foundation 2010)

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee748631(office.14).aspx (SharePoint Server 2010)

Enable a content database to use Remote Blob Storage (RBS)

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee748605(office.14).aspx (SharePoint Foundation 2010)

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee748641(office.14).aspx (SharePoint Server 2010)

Upgrade from a stand-alone installation of Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 to SharePoint

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee663471(office.14).aspx

Installation Notes

The key component is the provider itself. With SharePoint 2010 Public Beta, we need to use the FILESTREAM RBS Provider shipped with SQL Server 2008 R2 Nov CTP. Don’t worry, it can be installed and used with SQL Server 2008.

The original download link on TechNet article pointed to an older version of the provider which was used with SharePoint 2010 Technical Preview (a.k.a. June CTP). This link has already been updated with the new one, so if you downloaded “RBS_X64.msi” earlier, please re-download it. The correct installer should be 4.67MB, with a digital signature time stamp at Nov 1st, 2009.

When you copy and paste the script, be careful with the quotes – there could be issues with them. You need to clean the wrong quotes, and replace them with the right one.

Follow the steps described in the documentation and get it setup. If you get into any problems, please report them to SharePoint 2010 - Setup, Upgrade, Administration and Operation Forum on TechNet Forums.

Another point is, you can allow only big files to be put into FILESTREAM. Since FILESTREAM performance is not as good as the databases when it deals with small files (for example, <1M), you can change this threshold.  The following Windows PowerShell command change the setting to 1M (1048576 bytes), file below 1M will be stored in DB.

$cbd = Get-SPContentDatabase “WSS_Content”
$cbd.RemoteBlobStorageSettings.MinimumBlobStorageSize=1048576
$cdb.Update()

It would be good to test the performance based on your own storage and hardware.

FAQ:

Q1. Who should consider using FILESTREAM RBS Provider?
A: People who are using Windows Internal Database to host their Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 or SharePoint Server 2007 content database, and want to upgrade to 2010 products, should consider FILESTREAM RBS Provider. Also, FILESTREAM RBS Provider could also be considered to deal with the following scenarios:

1. Store terabytes of data for archiving purpose.
2. Media streaming.

Q2 removed. :-) 

 

Jie Li

Technical Product Manager, SharePoint