Over a year ago, I wrote about SharePoint’s storage limits and threshold, why they are there and and can they be exceeded. I had started to illustrate how the content databases could be exceeded and to what extent, but I really never got to do some more in depth tests. I had promised to come back one day and perform more tests and to show if pushing SharePoint content databases beyond 200GB is possible in your environment.
This past week a friend of mine, Joanne Klein (@JoanneCKlein – https://joannecklein.com/) and I travelled nearly 2000km to take part in what we fondly called our Alberta Tour. We travelled to Edmonton and spoke to the Edmonton Microsoft User Group and the next evening to the Calgary SharePoint Office365 User Group.
Joanne and I spoke on different ways to make SharePoint Search better:
Finding a Needle in the Haystack: SharePoint Style
So you have this shiny new SharePoint environment built inside your enterprise. You have added tons of content and have lots of users adding, modifying and deleting content all the time. You’ve got your system purring like a kitten and everyone loves it except for one minor detail. Your users can’t find any of the content they are looking for. Search is just not working for them. If they don’t know exactly where to find a file they need to reference or work on, they are spending their precious time looking for it. Join us in this session where we will show you the great search tools SharePoint gives you OOTB.
Along the way we’ll show you some tips, tricks and techniques to make a user’s experience better. From search refiners to display templates, from managed properties to OOTB Web Parts we will show you how to customize your search to make it easier to use and to truly make your search so powerful your users won’t have any trouble finding their “needles in the haystack” – their content.
As promised to the attendees, here is the slide deck for our presentation.
Recently at my client site (I have a lot of posts that start this way) we have been getting more and more requests for groups that want to bring higher amounts of data into SharePoint. These requests are really pushing the limits of SharePoint Storage thresholds. So I started looking into the ways that we can get around that. Our thought was that since Microsoft recently announced being able to handle 25TB of data for SharePoint Online Site Collections. We should be able to easily handle the 4TB ceiling in our on-prem environment.
Update: I wrote another blog post concerning this where I go into greater detail on how to test if your environment can go beyond the 200GB threshold and the results of a test I did. You can view that information here.
SharePoint Database Size Limits
The limitations of SharePoint’s content databases are pretty well documented here: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-CA/library/cc262787.aspx#ContentDB. But in a nutshell you want to keep your content databases below 200GB. The same document actually suggests splitting out your site collections if the content DB reached more than 100GB. This would be to allow for growth within the sites.
But what if it’s a single site collection within that database? This now means you should consider branching off the site collection into multiple site collections. For example, create an archive site collection to house data that is no longer actively updated or used. Likely this will cut down on your data usage a great deal. You will have to migrate the data in order to do it, but it is a necessary evil to save on space.
Recently I was configuring search to access my SQL Server data via an external content type for a demo I was presenting. Once the content source was configured I ran the full crawl to populate the index with the data from my external source. After about a minute the crawl was marked complete. So naturally I am going to want to test it and make sure my data is pulling through. The external data is a basic asset database so I did a search for one of the manufacturers I knew was in there. Received the dreaded “Nothing here matches your search” message.
Well I know there is data in there so obviously something went wrong. I know what is wrong as I have done this before, but I want to go through some of the troubleshooting steps you can do to help determine the problem.
In part five of my building a multi-server SharePoint dev environment series we are going to install SharePoint 2013. But first I am going to cover how to create the AutoSPInstaller Answer File. We will do this using the AutoSPInstaller online tool. There isn’t a lot of information out there on it (that I could find) so I hope it is helpful. I am going to go through each area in pretty decent detail, but to make things easier for you, I will also provide my answer file that you can easily modify for your needs. Once we have finished creating the answer file I will show you how to kick off the install of SharePoint.
Posts in this series:
- Creating and Configuring the VM
- Configuring the Domain Controller, Active Directory and DNS
- Installing and Configuring SQL Server 2012
- Preparing SharePoint Servers and install files
- Creating the AutoSPInstaller Answer File and installing SharePoint