Since two months, our SharePoint 2010 (on SQL 2008R2 std) intranet is live on production. Step by step, we add more features and content, migrating one department every 3 months into it. Next department is marketing and the specification includes the integration of a picture database of 12GB as well as storing videos and other high volume files. Therefore, we thought of implementing BLOB storage.

Our partner asks us to chose between RBS and some external add-on like Docave or AvePoint.

Our internal SQL team has not that much experience with SQL yet and prefer keeping administration as simple as possible (for backup procedures especially).

Based on what I have read and heard (including a prosentation from MS MVP at the TechDays of Paris in February 2011), I would prefer going with RBS for the following reasons:

  1. Filestream provider is included in SQL;
  2. Backup management is integrated in SQL (as see at techDays)ion);
  3. We do not need compression or encryption;
  4. As RBS is built-in, the IT team will not need to learn one more tool.

When about to start implementing RBS, our partner echoed us some interrogations about selecting RBS over an add-on:

  • RBS would not support a cluster configuration (but during the TechDays, I saw that clustering was supported by RBS while mirroring was not);
  • Blobs are saved on a local file system and not on a SAN (but on this article I read that blobs can only be saved on the same location than the content DB, which, in our case, means on our SAN).

Our setup:

SharePoint 2010 enterprise on 5 servers + SQL cluster:

  • 2 web front-ends
  • 3 application servers
  • SQL cluster (2 servers) with SQL standard 2008 R2
  • A SAN bay from 3PAR (HP) to store the content DB. The SAN is seen as a local partition by the servers0

So, is there any reason not to use RBS ?

EDIT on 30/3/2011: Microsoft Support Premier confirmed the following:

  • Clustering is indeed supported.
  • The storage area must be located at the same location than the content database.

We're starting with RBS on 11/4/2011 on our dev environment and I will keep you posted.

EDIT on 21/6/2012: We are using RBS since a year now in production and it works like a charm. So yes, RBS is a solution.

  • Are you using the MS FILESTREAM RBS Provider or a third-party RBS Provider?
    – Hossein A
    Jun 21, 2012 at 17:33
  • 1
    The MS built-in RBS provider.
    – Veynom
    Jun 22, 2012 at 18:43

7 Answers 7


If you have very basic requirements then the RBS FILESTREAM provider may be sufficient, but it really is a very limited capability. I would also caution you against the idea that it is "built in". It's every bit an add-on as a 3rd party would be and is completely administered via PowerShell...no Central Admin UI at all.

If you're not concerned with saving money on storage costs (i.e. offloading the BLOBs to a NAS vs. your SAN or archived content to the cloud or some other inexpensive tier) or reducing the amount of storage used (compression, single-instancing, de-duplication, etc.) or improving performance then it will probably be hard to justify the cost of a 3rd party solution.

I wrote a blog post on this topic a couple months ago...maybe you'll find some of the content useful: http://www.sharepointedutech.com/2010/12/15/sharepoint-remote-blob-storage-for-non-experts


I would like to add that from my experience I would only recommend rbs and the file stream provider. This is because it provides transactional consistency between the blob store and the database. remote 3rd party providers are not transactional. This is critical.


I'd add Metalogix StoragePoint to your list of vendors for externalizing blobs and move them to the top of your list. I just shrunk a 35 GB content database to 380 MB by offloading blobs to the file system.

You can move them to various sources, SAN, local file system, the cloud. Very flexible and easy to use. integrates directly into Central Administration.


Havent had the chance to have hands-on experience with RBS yet, but Bill Bear just did an excellent write up with loads of external links that you might find useful http://blogs.technet.com/b/wbaer/archive/2011/02/22/filestream-and-sharepoint-2010.aspx


We managed to successfully implement RBS in the above configuration. Everything works smoothly.

Case closed, thanks for your help.


@PirateEric: Veynom is using the standard edition of SQL Server 2008 R2. To use any other provider (third-party providers) beside the FILESTREAM provider would require the enterprise edition or higher.

Reasons not to use RBS:

  • If your average file size are < 100 KB. RBS is an excellent choice for digital assets (image, audio, video files).
  • Backup and restore would take more time.

I would like to thank you all for your valuable info, I want to implement SharePoint 2010 enterprise on my company, I have 3PAR storage and I want to configure the RBS on my environment but I don't know how or from where I should start.

whould you please advise me from where should i get this information.

Thx, W Tb

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