My currently planned topology is one site collection with 80 subsites, 1,600 pages, 50 - 100GB of data and 165 security groups.

I'm considering breaking up the subsites into 8 different site collections with their own content database on the same SQL Server cluster.

Should this realize any performance benefit outside of DB backup and restore time?

2 Answers 2


You're within the limitations of SharePoint (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc262787.aspx) in either scenario, which is good. Some of my thoughts

As far as performance, I don't think you'll see much in way of improvement going from one DB to multiple DBs, unless you can move the DB files to different disk arrays.

100GB is a reasonable size for one DB. MS recommends 200GB max, but the recommendation is for management of the dbs (harder to backup/restore, times get longer)

Using unique site collections also bring along some features or headaches, depending on what you require

  • Unique permissions
  • Unique quotas
  • Roll up data is tougher (especially on SP2010)
  • Unique DBs
  • No central navigation (unless you use managed metadata)

And there's more in a post I wrote a while back: http://sp365.co.uk/2012/01/initial-topology-planning-site-collections-vs-subsites/

HTH, let me know if you have further questions

  • Also, associate site collections with single content databases when the site collection is expected to start or grow beyond 10GB of space. Otherwise, use a single content database hosting all of your site collections. Monitor their usage and move site collections to new content databases if the content database is reaching approximately 50GB Commented Sep 18, 2013 at 22:52

You might also take into account that the initially required storage capacity will grow over time. Having to split your "catch-all" SiteCollection later on won't be fun, so my recommendation is to start with several SiteCollections and have room for growth

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.