SharePoint 2010 Server with FILESTREAM RBS Provider


What is RBS ?

Remote Blob Storage is a library API set that is incorporated as an add-on feature pack for Microsoft SQL Server. It can be run on the local server running Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2, SQL Server 2008,SQL server 2008 express or SQL Server 2008 R2 Express. To run RBS on a remote server, you must be running SQL Server 2008 R2 Enterprise edition. RBS is not supported for Microsoft SQL Server 2005.

What is the benefits of RBS ?

RBS can provide the following benefits:

  • BLOB data can be stored on less expensive storage devices that are configured to handle simple storage.
  • The administration of the BLOB storage is controlled by a system that is designed specifically to work with BLOB data.
  • Database server resources are freed for database operations.

When we consider to use RBS ?

  • The BLOB data files are larger than 256 kilobytes (KB).
  • The BLOB data files are at least 80 KB and the database server is a performance bottleneck. In this case, RBS reduces the both the I/O and processing load on the database server.

What is the difference of RBS with FILESTREAM and RBS without FILESTREAM feature ?

This implementation of the FILESTREAM provider is known as the local FILESTREAM provider. You can conserve resources by using the local RBS FILESTREAM provider to place the extracted BLOB data on a different (cheaper) local disk such as RAID 5 instead of RAID 10. You cannot use RBS with the local FILESTREAM provider on remote storage devices, such as network attached storage (NAS). The FILESTREAM provider is supported when it is used on local hard disk drives only.

A remote RBS FILESTREAM provider that is available in SQL Server 2008 R2 Express can store BLOB data on remote commodity storage such as direct-attached storage (DAS) or NAS. However, SharePoint Server 2010 does not currently support the remote RBS FILESTREAM provider.

BLOBs can be kept on commodity storage such as direct-attached storage (DAS) or network attached storage (NAS), as supported by the provider. The FILESTREAM provider is supported by SharePoint Server 2010 when it is used on local hard disk drives only. You cannot use RBS with FILESTREAM on remote storage devices, such as NAS.

The following table summarizes FILESTREAM benefits and limitations.

Operational requirement RBS with FILESTREAM RBS without FILESTREAM
SQL Server integrated backup and recovery of the BLOB Store Yes Yes
Scripted migration to BLOBs Yes Yes
Supports mirroring No No
Log shipping Yes Yes, with provider implementation
Database snapshots No1 No1
Geo replication Yes No
Encryption NTFS only No
Network Attached Storage (NAS) Not supported by SharePoint 2010 Products Yes, with provider implementation

1If the RBS provider that you are using does not support snapshots, you cannot use snapshots for content deployment or backup. For example, the SQL FILESTREAM provider does not support snapshots.

If FILESTREAM is not a practical provider for your environment, you can purchase a supported third-party provider. In this case, you should evaluate the following criteria when shopping for a provider:

  • Backup and restore capability
  • Tested disaster recovery
  • Deployment and data migration
  • Performance impact
  • Long-term administrative costs

What is the Prerequistes ?

If you plan to store BLOB data in an RBS store that differs from your SharePoint Server 2010 content databases, you must run SQL Server 2008 with SP1 and Cumulative Update 2. This is true for all RBS providers.

Important Notes

  • RBS does not enable any kind of direct access to any files that are stored in Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Products. All access must occur by using SharePoint 2010 Products only.
  • If you are storing many small (less than 256 KB) files that are frequently accessed by many users, you might experience increased latency on sites that have many small files that are stored in RBS. Increased latency is one cost factor that you should consider when you evaluate RBS for your storage solution. However, it is unlikely to be the strongest consideration. The amount of increased latency is also related to the RBS provider that you use.
  • RBS can be run on the local server running Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2, SQL Server 2008 or SQL Server 2008 R2 Express. To run RBS on a remote server, you must be running SQL Server 2008 R2 Enterprise edition. SharePoint Server 2010 requires you to use the version of RBS that is included with the SQL Server Remote BLOB Store installation package from the Feature Pack for Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2. Earlier versions of RBS will not work with SharePoint Server 2010. In addition, RBS is not supported in SQL Server 2005.
  • For best performance, simplified troubleshooting, and as a general best practice, we recommend that you create the BLOB store on a volume that does not contain the operating system, paging files, database data, log files, or the tempdb file
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Express supports databases up to 10 GB. If the installation includes content databases that are larger than 4 GB but smaller than 10 GB, you can upgrade to SQL Server 2008 R2 Express for your content database storage solution instead of implementing RBS. For more information, see Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Express Edition
  • WARNING:We do not recommend that you install RBS by running the RBS_X64.msi file and launching the Install SQL Remote BLOB Storage wizard. The wizard configures the RBS Maintainer to run a scheduled task every 30 days. This setting might not be optimal for your environment. For more information about the RBS Maintainer, see the SQL Server Help documentation that is included with the SQL Server Remote BLOB Store installation package from the Feature Pack for Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2. (ref : Install and configure Remote BLOB Storage (RBS) with the FILESTREAM provider (SharePoint Server 2010))UPDATE 18.04.2011: With new version RBS.msi you can use GUI interface to install rbs to your envoriment.
    You have to select “Show the optional advanced configuration options” when wizard in progress. And uncheck the maintaner  schedule configuration for disable maintainer.You can download from Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Feature Pack Page
    http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?displaylang=en&FamilyID=ceb4346f-657f-4d28-83f5-aae0c5c83d52
    This is the only provider that Sharepoint Server 2010  with version 10.50.xxxx (R2) .But you can load this provider to SQL Server 2008 express loaded machine.


Tips and Tricks

  • 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.

This Article base on below MSDN articles :

And Blog Articles

Other Resources

Happy Codding…
.

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About bpostaci
Sr. Support Escalation Engineer in Microsoft.

4 Responses to SharePoint 2010 Server with FILESTREAM RBS Provider

  1. Pingback: Compare sql server 2005 and 2008 by SharePoint 2010 « Bugra Postaci's Blog

  2. Mikael says:

    This isn’t a valid point “The content databases are larger than 500 gigabytes (GB)”. Even RBS-enabled site collections may not be larger than default limits..

    http://sharepoint.microsoft.com/blog/Pages/BlogPost.aspx?pID=988

    “The content database size includes both metadata and BLOBs regardless of where the BLOBs are located and use of RBS does not bypass or increase these limits.”

    • bpostaci says:

      Hi Mikael yes it is correct for general usage scenarios. boundries are stict as 200GB.But if you provide “Disk sub-system performance of 0.25 IOPs per GB. 2 IIOPs per GB is recommended for optimal performance” rule for 4TB boundry it is also valid for RBS.

      • bpostaci says:

        And one more thing this article was written before SP1 so it may require update because after sp1 some limitations has been changed.

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