My client has been on MOSS 2007 for nearly 3 years. We're about to do an upgrade to 2010 on their system and found their content database to be around 350Gb in total. This to me seems a bit ridiculous?

If I where to try and clean up the database, not shrink, what should I generally look for that might cause this massive file size? The log file attached to the database is sitting roughly at around 20Mb which I can live with, but 350Gb for content seems a bit much, yes?

3 Answers 3


Look for libraries where versioning is turned on and not limited to x versions. A new version creates an additional full copy of a document -- not just a differential. You want to try to keep the content databases under 100 GB each. Remote Blob storage is a good idea if you have a lot of large attachments. Keeping similar site types in the same site collections in a content content database is a good idea if you are looking for a basis for splitting site collections up into multiple content dbs.

I often refer people to this Dan Holme article regarding SharePoint storage. It is a good backgrounder. http://www.sharepointpromag.com/article/sharepoint/blob-blob-139907

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    The official guidance regarding content db is 200 (and site collection same as content db). Ofcourse this is by no means an exact number, but that is an appropriate size with regards for time it takes to backup/restore, do B2B and especially V2V patching/upgrades, etc. Jan 10, 2012 at 6:49
  • I should qualify that I'm speaking from experience not from the official guidance. The guidance has actually been updated to 4TB, but I would not personally recommend that any of my clients. I would not want to be the person who migrated that content database to SharePoint vNext. blogs.msdn.com/b/pandrew/archive/2011/07/08/… Also, if a site collection is greater than 100 GB, then it should be the only site collection in the content db: sharepoint.microsoft.com/blog/Pages/BlogPost.aspx?pID=988.
    – Rob Wilson
    Jan 10, 2012 at 16:18
  • The 4TB limit is only for very specific scenarios where IOPS and other specs are within specs specified i guidance. Very specific scenarios Jan 11, 2012 at 16:50

Have you checked to see how much unused space there is in this DB? Although shrinks aren't generally recommended they are a potential option if you have more than 50% unused space (in which case no amount of content clean up is going to resolve your problem).

You could also consider splitting the site collections into multiple databases to make them more manageable.

AFAIK RBS isn't a solution to large content databases under the current MS supportability guidance (although the accuracy of that guidance is subject to debate).


Do you have lots of workflows running on your application? Then, Workflow history list would be something to check out for. This would also increase your DB size to considerable amount without your notice.

Checkout my blog for more details - http://allaboutmoss.com/2011/11/21/sharepoint-workflow-history-list-never-gets-deleted/

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