RBS Whitepaper Published
Microsoft has published a new Remote BLOB Storage (RBS) whitepaper which was authored by KnowledgeLake. After providing an overview of RBS and its use cases, the whitepaper dives deep into nuts and bolts concepts and implementation guidance of the SQL Server 2008 R2 RBS Feature Pack which includes the FILESTREAM RBS provider.
Here is a direct download link to the RBS Whitepaper.
The document reference was originally featured on this page.
RBS is an extremely powerful tool that helps us to scale SharePoint 2010 to incredible sizes. When I first heard about RBS and how it would impact SharePoint 2010 architecture, I was determined to dig deep into the nuts and bolts of this important technology. I had to know if I could really trust it to reliably store binary content outside of the SharePoint database. I’m happy to report that after digging deep under the covers and experiencing close interaction with the SQL RBS Dev Team at Microsoft, I ABSOLUTELY trust this technology. It was well architected (would we expect anything less?) and has also been well tested. This technology enables KnowledgeLake|SharePoint 2010 based document management systems to scale easily to 100′s of million’s of documents, likely even a BILLION documents with the right search subsystem architecture.
KnowledgeLake participated in the SharePoint 2010 TAP program, so I had access to SP2010 early. RBS was the first thing on my list that I wanted to get working. I was able to fumble my way through an RBS/FILESTREAM Provider install over the course of a few weeks (in my spare time). Documentation was nonexistent at the time and there were some tough pitfalls to push through. So I reached out to the RBS team through the SQL RBS team blog and the CodePlex site. They were very helpful in getting me up and running. Wanting to understand the technology at a deeper level, I downloaded the CodePlex RBS provider (which enables NTFS file share BLOB Stores) and recompiled with the latest RBS assembly references. Sure enough, I was able to get that working in SharePoint as well.
Even with my shiny new RBS CodePlex provider implementation, I was looking for more. But it seemed that the information I was looking for simply wasn’t available. Here are a few of the questions I had:
- What could all of those install options on the RBS Feature Pack Installer do for me?
- How do I configure additional SharePoint WFE servers to support RBS?
- What if I want to configure additional content databases for RBS?
- What ON EARTH is the difference between LOCAL FILESTREAM and REMOTE FILESTREAM providers? (a lot of confusion out there on this one)
- What type of BLOB Store storage solutions can I use?
- What does the backup and restore picture look like?
Some of these questions would later be answered in TechNet but even then I was still missing the “why” behind the “how”. The lack of comprehensive documentation led me to believe that perhaps Microsoft wasn’t heavily vested in RBS and maybe I should be careful to implement it. One day I innocently expressed that opinion in a forum post. I suggested that it appeared that the FILESTREAM RBS provider seemed to be just a light “example” of what could be done. This really got the attention of the RBS Dev Team. Nothing was further from the truth. The FILESTREAM RBS provider has been heavily tested to ensure that it will reliably and efficiently function in a production environment! This revelation led to a dialog on how we could fix the lack of information available for RBS and the FILESTREAM provider. The end result of that dialog is this RBS Whitepaper. The RBS Dev Team was instrumental in providing me with answers to every question I could come up with and I am very grateful that they gave me the opportunity to author this whitepaper,
I believe this document will go along way to helping the community understand Remote BLOB Storage and how it can be leveraged to facilitate elegant storage architectures for SharePoint 2010. I hope you enjoy it!
About the Author
Russ Houberg is a SharePoint Microsoft Certified Master (MCM) and has been a Senior Architect at KnowledgeLake for over 6 years. Russ is responsible for designing the taxonomy and topology architecture for KnowledgeLake’s document imaging customers that require enterprise class scalability. Russ is the author of the SharePoint Storage Architecture whitepaper and the co-author of the Using Microsoft Office SharePoint Server to implement a large-scale content storage scenario with rapid search availability TechNet whitepaper.