I'm attempting to perform triage on a 1.5TB subsite in SP2013. I've reduced content as much as the business unit will allow, and my next step will be to move the site into its own site collection & content database, after which we plan on using RBS. However, exporting the site via Powershell currently takes over 48 hours - meaning I can't complete the operation in a normal weekend.

I've reduced versioning to the last 3 major versions, but even grabbing only the current version takes an insanely long time. Somehow, I have to reach a point where I can export AND import the site within 72 hours.

Note: Yes, I know a site shouldn't be allowed to get this big in the first place, but that doesn't help me now. Please post constructive comments/answers only. Thank you.

  • Have you tried with the "NoFileCompression" parameter ? According to MS : "If compression is enabled, the export process can increase by approximately 30 percent.". NoLogFile parameter could also speed up but I don't know at what scale.
    – JayHell
    Mar 31, 2016 at 17:08
  • look for a longer weekend ;) sorry couldn't helps myself. Export operation is massive hit on DB, have you considered hardware options? I have recently tested how useful would be SSD drives for Logs and TempDbs I have seen very big improvement in standard operations (good 20% on average). If SSD is not an option a temporary increase of resources for the operations (not sure how many cores your SQL has) for 16 cores you could go easily for 8 TempDBs spread over different drives. Mar 31, 2016 at 17:26

2 Answers 2


The only option for this sized site is a Content Database backup and restore (to an alternate farm) or a content migration using a 3rd party tool.

I would suggest avoiding RBS. SharePoint Content Databases can be up to 4TB+, depending on usage, available IOPS on SQL, and backup/DR plans.

  • I've heard both good and bad things about RBS. Have you had a negative experience with it?
    – Omegacron
    Apr 1, 2016 at 14:10
  • Microsoft's RBS provider is meant for those coming from the Windows Internal Database moving to SQL Express. 3rd party RBS providers are significantly better, but most don't need it. I've managed 1TB+ databases and given SQL can keep up, which isn't too hard depending on usage patterns, there's no reason to move to RBS.
    – user6024
    Apr 1, 2016 at 14:12

I would recommend a 3rd party tool to be honest. This allows you to create a new site collection from scratch, allowing you to set up things like IRM policies to expire content, indexed views, permissions revamps, and all that other fun stuff.

Then using the tool, migrate the content into the new site. This has several benefits in that you can lock certain areas of the site that are being migrated to be read only while the migration occurs. Migrations can be done continuously, scheduled, or in off hours.

Once done, the old site can be removed.

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