I'm responsible for a large site collection which functions as an electronic filing system. After 1.5 years of use, the content database is now at 750+ GB (and growing), so I'm concerned about optimization & future overhead.

Here are the basics of the system:

  • Multiple lists with cross-linked lookup fields & relationships
  • Multiple libraries associated/linked with each list item
  • Multiple files in each library, some as large as 1GB (AutoCAD files)
  • Most files are frequently used/updated on an ongoing basis (living documents)
  • Currently no way to break the site up into multiple collections

What would be the best ways to maintain a system like this? We've ruled out moving to a SQL application, it needs to stay in SharePoint. We've also ruled out keeping the files on a network/SAN drive, management wants them IN SharePoint.

I'm hoping maybe there's a way to "archive" some of this so that it moves into a different content database at the end of the lifecycle. Or, failing that, maybe just a way to break up the bulk into smaller pieces.

Note: Everything is working at the moment, I'm just trying to cut off any issues at the pass. I dread the day that the site is down and we're waiting on a 1TB database backup to restore.

Farm Specs: This is currently running SP2013 on a 4-server farm (2 WFE, 2 APP) with a clustered SQL 2012 instance for the backend. Farm performance isn't generally a problem (yet).

2 Answers 2


Once a document reaches a finish stage (in record center terminology or final stage). You can move the document to a different site collection (Record Center) and keep the link in the library.

You can create a Job for doing this on a regular basis.

  • Can entire document collections be moved this way? And if so, will they maintain their link/lookup to the list items?
    – Omegacron
    May 11, 2015 at 14:48
  • I am not sure you should do this as a POC. I believe it should work. May 11, 2015 at 14:48

Set a metadata field for "document state" to Active or Obsolete (or whatever your terminology) and the effective date when it is to become obsolete. Write a simple workflow to look at this state. Once the state is Obsolete and the date is equal to "oday,"the workflow then moves the doc out of the current site to another site collection of your choosing.

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