At the moment we have a list on a global site collection (with about 200 entries). These items represent countries (simplified) - so it's not that often, that new items have to be added or old itmes have to be deleted)

At first we planned to have a single document library with a folder for each item.

Now our customer wants a sperate lib for each country with a complex folder structure. At the moment all stuff is stored on one network file drive (about 400GB, 250.000 files in 30.000 folders) and the goal is to create a common folder structure for each country/entity (not the case right now).

At the moment I'm considering if we should

  1. add a seperate site collection with a doc lib for each entity/country.
  2. create one single site collection with 200 libraries.

My gut wants to stick with the first solution (more extendable, etc.) but creating a site collection just for a single document library seems to be like using a sledgehammer to crack a nut.

What do you think?

1 Answer 1


Ultimately it comes down to the amounts of data that your architecture can handle. If you go with 1 site collection and put all the data (400GB) there, then it will all go to one content database (because site collection can have only one database). Microsoft recommends not exceeding 200 GB for an actively used content database. So this is a clear case where a site collection for each country would be preferable, otherwise you will run into performance problems.

Keep in mind that some Out-Of-the-Box functionality may not work across site collections, but this is the price you have to pay for the amount of data you have to work with.

If/when you start implementing the multiple site collection scenario you have to make sure that the site collections get distributed to various content databases so that you don't run into size or other limits. But you don't need to have a separate content database for each site collection (that would also be bad).

Source: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc262787.aspx

  • Thanks... Are there any arguments for the Single-Site-Collection-Solution?
    – Dave
    Jan 28, 2016 at 17:02
  • Sorry, a little bit late, but anyway - single site collection would be easier to manage, especially access rights, you can copy/move documents between libraries easily, there's no overhead of having a site collection for each library (even though it might no be much) - that's all I can think of right now :) But 400 GB is definitely too much to put into one site collection. Feb 3, 2016 at 12:38

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