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My currently planned topology is one site collection with 80 subsites, 1,600 pages, 50 - 100GB of data and 165 security groups.

I'm considering breaking up the subsites into 8 different site collections with their own content database on the same SQL Server cluster.

Should this realize any performance benefit outside of DB backup and restore time?

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up vote 8 down vote accepted

You're within the limitations of SharePoint ( in either scenario, which is good. Some of my thoughts

As far as performance, I don't think you'll see much in way of improvement going from one DB to multiple DBs, unless you can move the DB files to different disk arrays.

100GB is a reasonable size for one DB. MS recommends 200GB max, but the recommendation is for management of the dbs (harder to backup/restore, times get longer)

Using unique site collections also bring along some features or headaches, depending on what you require

  • Unique permissions
  • Unique quotas
  • Roll up data is tougher (especially on SP2010)
  • Unique DBs
  • No central navigation (unless you use managed metadata)

And there's more in a post I wrote a while back:

HTH, let me know if you have further questions

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Also, associate site collections with single content databases when the site collection is expected to start or grow beyond 10GB of space. Otherwise, use a single content database hosting all of your site collections. Monitor their usage and move site collections to new content databases if the content database is reaching approximately 50GB – Falak Mahmood Sep 18 '13 at 22:52

You might also take into account that the initially required storage capacity will grow over time. Having to split your "catch-all" SiteCollection later on won't be fun, so my recommendation is to start with several SiteCollections and have room for growth

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