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I'm in an industry that uses a lot of scanned documents and large attachments (100MB), and I see our Sharepoint database growing quickly.

What options do I have for managing this rapid growth?

Can I treat the Sharepoint Database like the Exchange server, where I would replace the actual large message with a shortcut (or pointer) to a WORM store?

If nothing exists on the direct Sharepoint side, is there a compatible solution for SQL that would with with SPS?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

You can use RBS (Remote Blob Storage) for such files so that you do not overload your SQL DB. This would allow you to use lower cost storage for the large scanned docs/attchments and improve SQL performance. MS has a number of documents on using RBS This MS article will assist you. Manage RBS

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As DaveM pointed out, a similar functionality can be achieved by tweaking the SQL Server a bit.

Documents in the Content DB's are stored in BLOB fields, and Microsoft has addressed the issue with storing huge BLOBs, with something called Remote BLOB Storage, that allows the SQL server to transparently store large BLOB values directly as files in the filesystem.

Basically, you need to enable the FILESTREAM RBS provider, already installed by default on SQL Server Standard and Enterprise editions, install a RBS client library on the web servers, provision an encrypted BLOB store filegroup and enable RBS on the particular database.

The process is outlined in this Technet article

NOTE: Due to the fact that the Remote BLOB store is still a database file group, this does not reduce the logical size of the database, but the database files (*.mdf) is reduced, and performance on indexing and search time might improve.

The Content Database still cannot exceed 200GB

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