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What are the factors that affect the size of index partitions in Sharepoint 2010? Is size of documents a factor? Any explanation would be appreciated.

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The Technet article Estimate performance and capacity requirements for SharePoint Server 2010 Search provides the following formula to estimate the size of index partitions:

ContentDBSum = Size of content that is crawled.
TotalIndezSize = ContentDBSum * 0.35
QueryComponentIndexSize = TotalIndexSize / Number of index partitions

The size of the index ultimately depends on the size and the contents of the documents that are indexed. Text heavy documents will yield a larger index while image heavy documents will yield a smaller index. But I think you are on the safe side when using a factor of 0.35 as suggested by Microsoft.

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Correct me if I am wrong but what I do not understand is how the index size is dependent on the size of the content. Let's say if there are five 2Gig media files in one site collection. Does this mean the index partition is going to balloon just because of these huge files? Is not an index partition a storage for only the location data of those files (metadata is stored in property db I believe)? –  Regmi Sep 22 '11 at 6:46
    
Large media files will not balloon the index! The index basically stores the position of all words in documents. That is why the index is primarily dependent on the amount of text in your documents. Next, metadata like URL, Title, Date, Author, etc. is indeed stored in the property db - but they are also included in the text index to enable free text searching on metadata. –  Lars Fastrup Sep 22 '11 at 7:19
    
That clears it all. Thanks! –  Regmi Sep 22 '11 at 19:58
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