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So I've read the MSDN Overview of Remote BLOB Storage as well as the FAQ: Sharepoint 2010 Remote Blob Storage (RBS), but I still don't completely understand how RBS would manifest itself in Sharepoint.

From what I understand you (as described here: Installing Remote Blob Store (RBS) on SharePoint 2010) first need to set up RBS and ultimately activate RBS for one content database. Here is where I'm stuck in my thoughts:
So you activate RBS for one web application / one content database via PowerShell - and that's it? Will all files of all Site collections in that web application be stored in the RBS (Question 1)? So when I upload TestFile.docx to http://myserver/sites/doclib/, it will be saved to the RBS (e.g. C:\Blob\TestFile.docx)?

I'm asking because I need to save files on a different SQL Server than the one where the content DB resides - is RBS a feasible method (Question 2)?

PS: Could someone create new tags RBS and synonym remote-blob-storage? There is a tag for external-blob-storage - is that something different as shown here: Architecture of External BLOB storage?

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4 Answers

up vote 1 down vote accepted

With RBS, "blobs" are defined by file extension, so only the file extensions you configure are shipped to the filesystem.

I'm not sure I understand question 2, you tell a site collection to use a specific SQL instance, and that's where the content DB resides. If RBS is set up for that content DB, files will be shipped to the filesystem configured for that SQL Database.

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Thanks for the tag. I assumed you could save the RBS to a different server, as my requirement is to have the sharepoint content database separated from the data being held in there (crazy I know) and hence I'm thinking of ways to outsource files to a different secure (SQL) server, whilst keeping the content database with the original Sharepoint DB server. –  Dennis G Dec 8 '10 at 13:10
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To have documents stored in a different server, you'll need to look at 3rd party products that do that. RBS is very limited in a lot of cases. –  iOnline247 Dec 8 '10 at 13:14
    
RBS is implemented primarily for performance reasons. If you ship the blob data to another SQL server, you will probably incur further performance issues as the data will have to be indexed in the first SQL server, then shipped and indexed on your second SQL server, while it writes data to that SQL server there will be latency before it comes back to the first SQL Server to say it's all done. Like Matt (iOnline247) says, you'll need an external tool to do this, but you'll end up with more performance issues than RBS is designed to give you. –  James Love Dec 8 '10 at 14:48
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With RBS FILESTREAM the only filter you have available to you is size. There is no list item context when a BLOB externalized, so file type and other filters are not natively available. Additionally, the file name and extension will not be promoted to the BLOB store...you'd see something like \server\blobstore\GUID instead of an actual filename. Different 3rd party solutions, including StoragePoint, do provide additional filtering capabilties and promotion of file and folder names from SharePoint to the BLOB Store.

The only ways you can remote content to locations other than the content DB SQL server is with SQL EE and a 3rd Party RBS provider.

Regarding the EBS reference in your question, EBS was introduced in WSS 3.0 SP1 and is a SharePoint capability. It is still supported in 2010, but is deprecated. The go foward standard for SharePoint BLOB remoting is SQL RBS. While the two could be characterized as architecturally similar, EBS has a farm-wide scope and RBS has a per-content db scope. They also differ in implementation, with EBS being exposed as a COM interface and RBS being exposed as a .NET interface.

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If you can see past the Marchitecture then StoragePoint shows one way in which RBS can manifest itself in SharePoint.

The end user shouldn't see anything it just determines where file blobs are stored and is used by admins to reduce storage costs.

I'm not affiliated with StoragePoint and have never used their product.

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Thanks for the link, maybe a possibility as there a loads of File Shares which would be perfect in Sharepoint... –  Dennis G Dec 10 '10 at 7:31
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Will all files of all Site collections in that web application be stored in the RBS?

Not all files will be stored on the file system (RBS store). By default, files larger than 100 KB will be stored on the RBS store you specify in your configuration. You can modify this value.

Is RBS a feasible method?

If I understand you correctly, what you meant to say is that you want to store the BLOBs (unstructured data) on a file system outside of the DB.

It Depends. If your average files size is > 1 MB then RBS is a good option. In this case, you will have performance gain. But, if you are dealing with average file size of < 1 MB then your performance will actually decrease. You should consider carefully before configuring RBS for a content DB.

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Nice answer! Thanks. –  Dennis G Sep 9 '12 at 21:24
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