Author: Trevor Hellebuyck

hybrid-sharepoint

Why Hybrid SharePoint Isn’t Halfway to the Cloud

Despite a strong push or desire by organizations to move to the cloud, 2015 will undoubtedly be the year that many organizations move to a hybrid SharePoint environment. And that’s where the confusion begins. The term “hybrid SharePoint” can mean different things depending on how you choose to adopt the cloud.

Everyone from Microsoft to third-party cloud hosting providers offer differing definitions of hybrid SharePoint. For me, it means running SharePoint on-premises and in the cloud leveraging Office 365/SharePoint Online, third-party hosting providers, or simply running SharePoint with your favorite IaaS provider.

Ultimately hybrid SharePoint is a safer approach as organizations already have long tail plans to move to the cloud when the time is right. And hybrid solutions allow organizations to provision new workloads or start moving existing workloads to the cloud. For many organizations the long-term goal is to move as many workloads to the cloud as possible. Hybrid SharePoint offers these organizations additional flexibility and granularity that allows teams to move, manage and secure one or several workloads.

In addition, a new practice is emerging which sees SharePoint admins using the cloud to create new workloads in test environments that will eventually replace their current workloads. While this involves more effort, it’s a clean and practical approach that provides SharePoint professionals with an option eliminates the legacy dependencies that occur when moving existing workloads to the cloud.

As you can see, hybrid SharePoint has many meanings. For one admin, it might mean embracing Office 365 as a way to collaborate with external users or trading partners. For another, it could mean offloading critical workloads to better support a mobile workforce. Yet, the one overriding observation that we can take from all of this is that for many the hybrid cloud is considered a halfway step to the cloud.

blob-externlization

If BLOB Externalization Is Right for Office 365 Then Why Not for My Growing SharePoint Environment?

It’s no secret that third party BLOB externalization solutions have provided tremendous value to organizations with growing SharePoint environments. The capability first appeared in SharePoint 2007 as BLOB Storage (EBS) and later in SharePoint 2010 as Remote BLOB Storage (RBS).

The value of RBS/EBS has always been clear. Removing BLOBs from the SharePoint database increases file access performance, allows for scalability in a cost effective manner, reduces storage costs and improves backup performance. Despite the clear value of BLOB externalization guidance on whether to use RBS/EBS varies wildly depending who was dispensing the advice, many SharePoint MVPs, consultants and even some Microsoft employees aggressively recommended against using BLOB externalization. Yes, there have been supporters of BLOB externalization including Microsoft’s own Bill Baer. However, guidance on whether to use RBS/EBS has been, at best, chock-full of contradictions.

Microsoft recently disclosed the inner workings of Fort Knox, a project that aims to bring increased security to Office 365 through the use of heavy encryption. Fort Knox is being described as RBS-like as it externalizes and stores file shreds across multiple Azure blob storage containers while encrypting each shred with AES 256 bit encryption. Yes, this isn’t RBS in its purest form but rather a custom, one-off BLOB externalization capability developed by the Microsoft product team for Office 365. Regardless, the Fort Knox project is BLOB externalization. Ironically this capability has been available from third party RBS providers since the introduction of SharePoint 2010 and even earlier leveraging EBS with SharePoint 2007.

The process of removing a BLOB from a SharePoint content database creates an opportunity to perform certain functions such as encrypting BLOBs, thus allowing a higher level of protection in transit and at rest. Encryption of files is only possible when externalizing BLOBs for SharePoint Content Databases. Yes, Transparent Data Encryption (TDE) is a possibility but requires that the entire database be encrypted. TDE is not without its caveats including the potential for performance degradation.

It may be time to revisit whether BLOB externalization is right for your growing, more secure SharePoint environment. Heavy encryption of externalized content is just another feather in the cap of BLOB externalization. Unofficially the BLOB externalization capability used by Office 365 is employed to provide more than just encryption of files at rest. Consider the massive size of Office 365 farms and you have to assume that scalability, backup, and high availability are all challenges for such a massive deployment of SharePoint. So you have to ask yourself, if BLOB externalization is the right answer for Office 365 shouldn’t it also be right for my growing SharePoint environment?

contently

Content in Motion

We are living in a new era of collaboration.  The way we work and share information has changed dramatically over the past decade.  Much of the change in collaboration is being driven by the availability of highly accessible, low cost cloud based collaboration solutions.  Gone are the days of IT-mandated collaboration and content management systems that were often rigid, created information silos and didn’t meet needs of the user.

The shadow IT movement is proof that I.T. mandated systems failed to hit the mark.  A recent report from Skyhigh Networks stated that “The average organization uses 174 distinct collaboration services (e.g. Cisco WebEx, Evernote, etc.) followed by 61 file sharing services (e.g. Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.) …”

To put it plainly, users are demanding the freedom to choose the solution that best fits their needs.  In fact, there is a trend emerging where IT departments are now supporting users’ decisions to have the freedom to choose in an effort to bring use of unsanctioned solutions out of the shadows.  One thing is for certain, across every organization content is constantly moving between users, platforms and devices.  No one organization will standardize on a single ECM, collaboration, or file sync and share platform.  As a result, content will always be in motion.

With all of this user freedom one has to wonder how IT provides the necessary controls over a broad collection of collaboration platforms. Balancing user freedom with IT control will be a major challenge for most organizations. Consider that each collaboration platform deployment will require assistance with a whole host of activities. These include the initial deployment and migration of content along with auditing user activity, managing internal and external access to content, backup and item level recovery, archiving and protection from the risk of exposing sensitive content.  In many cases the out-of-the-box tooling provided by the collaboration platform only provide a partial solution.

Historically IT departments have sought out point solutions or developed custom solutions to provide support for all aspects of managing collaboration platforms.  Such an approach worked well with one or two primary collaboration platforms but will fall short as user freedom results in investment in a broader set of solutions.  With IT on the hook to provide oversight, management and control, it leaves you wondering where they will turn for a consolidated solution for managing an organizations entire portfolio of collaboration and content management investments.

“The specified file is not a valid spreadsheet or contains no data to import” Import Spreadsheet Error

I have come across this issue on several occasions and each time I find myself searching for the solution.  I thought to myself, “self, maybe you should blog about this issue so you remember how to solve it the next time you come across it.”

If you are attempting to use the “Import Spreadsheet” app in SharePoint 2013 and you receive the error “The specified file is not a valid spreadsheet or contains no data to import” do not panic.  Your spreadsheet is most likely just fine.  The issue is with Internet Explorer blocking the functionality.  In order to fix the issue you simply need to add your SharePoint site to your list of trusted sites.  Go to Internet Options > Security > Trusted Sites and add the URL of your SharePoint site.  Don’t forget to remove the check for “Require Server Verification” if your site does not use HTTPS.

The First SharePoint Backup, Recovery and BLOB Storage Solution

We like to make history at Metalogix. With the release of StoragePoint 4.2, we’ve done it again.

For the first time in the history of SharePoint, there’s now a fully integrated BLOB storage, SharePoint backup and granular restore solution for any version of SharePoint.  With access available directly through SharePoint central administration, SharePoint administrators can now add the benefits of automated backups and granular recovery to their Remote BLOB Storage (RBS) solution.

With Metalogix StoragePoint 4.2, we have developed the first RBS solution that integrates backup and recovery capabilities into a single user interface in the central administration. The release continues StoragePoint’s long history as the most intuitive RBS solution through its native integration with SharePoint. If you’re familiar with SharePoint, regardless of the version, you’ll be comfortable with StoragePoint 4.2.

To ensure your familiarity with the new release, here are some of the key capabilities we added to the product:

  • Automates the Out-of-Box (OOB) backup process and integrates StoragePoint’s existing continuous BLOB backup capability.
  • Includes granular recovery – all the way down to the document level – for all versions including SharePoint 2013.
  • Introduces support for backup to the cloud, which will reduce disk space for backups and your storage costs.
  • Provides the ability to restore an endpoint from backup.

A key concern I’ve regularly heard from customers is how they can quickly respond when someone in their organization has lost a document or folder. We addressed this for SharePoint admins and IT professionals by including new granular recovery capabilities in StoragePoint. Rather than rely on lengthy, time-consuming SharePoint backup processes with SQL Backup, cumbersome scripting to manage your backups, or a central backup/recovery team to respond to your requests, you’ll now be mere clicks away from recovering your data with StoragePoint 4.2.

Do you have compliance, retention and archiving policies for SharePoint content that are causing you concern? In StoragePoint 4.2, we added crucial capabilities for event-based retention support for EMC Centera. Additionally, there are new capabilities for synchronization between SharePoint Information Management Policies and external storage retention policies.

We’re excited to share with you the exciting features in StoragePoint 4.2 and invite you to schedule a demo today to see the product in action. See for yourself how the market’s only fully integrated SharePoint storage, backup and granular recovery solutions works seamlessly within Central Administration.

You can also download StoragePoint Express for free with a 200GB license by clicking here.

Hyper-V Server 2012 – Cannot Connect to the RPC Service On Computer

I recently made the switch from VMware to Hyper-V Server 2012.  For the most part the transition has gone well however I recently ran into an issue with connecting to my Hyper-V server from Windows 8 Hyper-V Manager.  After chasing the issue for several hours I finally came across the solution.  My particular environment is configured using a Workgroup and not an AD Domain.  If you aren’t familiar with configuring Hyper-v Server and your management workstation for a workgroup setup you can read more about specific configuration steps here.  Part of the configuration requires that you create a local user account with the same username/password combination that you use to login to your Windows 8 machine.  After successfully configuring the Hyper-V and using Hyper-V Manager on Windows 8 I had zero issues for several months.  Today I attempted to connect to my remote Hyper-V Server and received the following error.  Cannot connect to the RPC service on computer ‘your server’. Make sure your RPC service is running.”  After researching the error for a few hours I came across another post someone experience the same issue that was caused by a password expiration on the Hyper-V server.  Simply resetting the password resolved the issue.  Here are the steps.

  1. Open Remote Desktop and connect to your Hyper-V Server
  2. Login to your Hyper-V Server using the same user account that you login to your management workstation (Windows 8 in my case).  This will be the same account that you previously added to the Hyper-V server as part of the workgroup configuration.
  3. You will be prompted with a message indicating that your password has expired.  Reset your password.  Note that you can reuse passwords so resetting the password to the old password surprisingly worked for me.
  4. Open Hyper-V Manager and connect to your Hyper-V Server … you should no longer receive the error.

 

Dispelling the Myths of Shredded Storage in SharePoint 2013: Part 2

Read Part 1: The Impact of Shredded Storage on SharePoint 2013

It is important to separate fact from fiction when it comes to shredded storage in SharePoint 2013, a topic that created a tremendous amount of buzz in the SharePoint community.

It is true that shredded storage, for collaboration scenarios, will reduce network and storage I/O associated with saving edits to an existing document. However, it completely misses the mark when it comes to performance related to file upload and download.

Thus, it is now time to dispel the myth that shredded storage serves as a replacement for Remote BLOB Storage (RBS) and show how you can optimize Metalogix StoragePoint to make the most of shredded storage in SharePoint 2013.

Remote BLOB Storage (RBS) provides plumbing to allow third-party providers to offload binary large objects (BLOBs) from SharePoint Content Databases to external storage locations. The primary benefit of RBS is to reduce the size of unstructured data (BLOBs) stored in SQL Server databases while providing support for commodity storage.  Third party providers like Metalogix StoragePoint have extended this basic BLOB offloading capability to provide a long list of enterprise capabilities including support for a wide variety of storage devices, compliant storage, archiving, and enhanced backup/restore capabilities.

Recently I have heard statements from within the SharePoint community and from other companies that RBS is no longer needed due to the introduction of shredded storage.  This couldn’t be further from the truth.

In part 1 of this series we discussed the primary benefits of shredded storage.  Microsoft’s goal in implementing shredded storage was to reduce the I/O associated with saving document changes.  Rather than store entire copies of files SharePoint 2013 shreds files into smaller chunks allowing for incremental changes to documents to be saved to the SharePoint Content Database.  As a result network and storage I/O is greatly reduced making the process of saving edits to a document very efficient.  Additionally SQL transaction logs associated with document edits are smaller making log shipping more efficient (in fact addressing log shipping challenges for Office 365 was one of the drivers for introducing Shredded Storage).  But what about the impact to uploading (new) and downloading existing documents for SharePoint?

In my experience, most SharePoint farms have a much higher ratio of downloads and uploads versus edits to existing documents.  The fact remains that while shredded storage greatly improves the I/O characteristics when saving incremental changes to SharePoint it has a net negative impact on uploads and downloads speeds.

With Shredded Storage in place, the core value of that RBS provides still exists.  Does Shredded Storage reduce the size of SharePoint Content Databases (SQL Server) by removing BLOBs from SQL Server databases?  Does shredded storage allow you to leverage commodity or complaint storage devices?  Does shredded storage address backup challenges with growing SharePoint environments?  The answer to all of these questions is a resounding “NO!”

Optimizing RBS with Shredded Storage

In SharePoint Server 2013, Shredded Storage and RBS coexist without issue.  As previously discussed, the result of Shredded Storage is a single file broken down into smaller “chunks” and stored within the SharePoint Content Database.  With RBS in place the smaller “chunks” will be externalized rather than a single file.  Regardless of shredding the end result is the same: BLOBs are stored outside of SharePoint Content Databases.

There are, however, considerations when optimizing the performance of RBS with Shredded Storage.  While Shredded Storage cannot be “turned off” in SharePoint Server 2013, it can be optimized or disabled altogether by changing the chunk size of the file shreds.  The default chunk size is set to 64KB however you could set the chunk size to 2GB (the maximum allowable file size in SharePoint) effectively disabling Shredded Storage.  When performance testing Metalogix StoragePoint with Shredded Storage, we found that setting the chunk size to 20MB will yield the best upload and download performance.  Changing the chunk size is quite simple and requires a bit of PowerShell script.

[void][System.Reflection.Assembly]::LoadWithPartialName(“Microsoft.SharePoint”)
$service = [Microsoft.SharePoint.Administration.SPWebService]::ContentService
$service.FileWriteChunkSize = chunk size in bytes
$service.Update()

You will need perform an IISRESET and restart the SP Timer Service on all machines in the farm.

As you have seen over this two-part series, there is a lot of misinformation currently floating around about Shredded Storage and RBS in SharePoint 2013. The reality is that neither replaces the other. In fact, Shredded Storage and RBS complement each other. Shredded Storage reduces network and storage I/O when saving document edits. And RBS reduces Content Database size, improves upload and download speed, and accelerates backup/restore operations. Following the guidelines above will help you get the most out of RBS and Shredded Storage.


The Impact of Shredded Storage on SharePoint 2013: Part 1

There is little doubt the SharePoint community is excited for SharePoint 2013. With 60% of users in a recent SharePoint survey saying they want to upgrade in the next year, the anticipation is building to a climax.

One feature that has garnered a lot of buzz, and some confusion, is the new Shredded Storage feature and what impact it will have on binary large objects (BLOBs) storage. In this two-part series, we’ll delve deeper into Shredded Storage, explore its impact on SharePoint 2013 and address the myths about the new feature and Remote BLOB Storage.

Before we plunge into the details it makes sense to define what Shredded Storage is and is not. The term “shredding” has created a lot of confusion. Shredded Storage does not refer to file shredding, which is the secure deletion of files by overwriting the data multiple times. StoragePoint and many other storage-related products include this feature. Instead, SharePoint 2013’s Shredded Storage is an attempt by Microsoft to reduce the I/O impact when saving versions of a document or file by “shredding” it into smaller pieces and reassembling it when someone needs to access it.

Microsoft developed shredded storage to address an issue that resulted from how document edits or versions are stored in SharePoint and to reduce the number of transaction logs. The result – significantly improved I/O (network and disk) and reduced CPU overhead when storing incremental changes to documents. The SharePoint product team has done a fantastic job addressing what has been a long-standing complaint in the way files are stored in previous versions of SharePoint.

Unfortunately, by addressing one issue, Microsoft introduced another that results in a performance decrease for the uploading and downloading of files in SharePoint.

A Brief History Lesson

With the introduction of SharePoint Team Services and subsequently SharePoint Portal Server 2003, Microsoft moved away from using the Web Storage System and settled on using SQL Server exclusively for the storage of BLOBs. BLOBs are immutable objects when stored in SharePoint. This means that BLOBs are created and deleted but never updated. When editing existing documents in SharePoint, edits result in new BLOBs being created. These new BLOBs are full copies including the edits and not incremental changes.

This means that if you maintain 10 versions of a 1MB document you would end up with approximately 10MB in total storage requirement excluding metadata. While this wasn’t the most efficient use of storage it was the simplest way to handle versions without introducing complexity. Unfortunately SharePoint has a tendency to spin off new versions of documents even if only metadata has changed. With the introduction of SharePoint and Office 2010 Microsoft optimized communication between the Office client and the SharePoint server by implementing a file synchronization protocol named Cobalt.

What Does Cobalt Mean?

I am not going to cover Cobalt in nauseating detail as the topic has been covered quite well by Bill Baer in his post about Shredded Storage. What you should know is that Cobalt allowed the Office client to send incremental changes rather than the entire file to the server when a document was saved. The incremental changes were then reassembled on the server and saved as a complete file. Shredded Storage in SharePoint 2013 extends the saving of incremental changes to the database where only file changes are stored rather than entire copies of the file.

The goal of Cobalt and subsequently Shredded Storage is to reduce the network bandwidth utilization (client changes sent to the SharePoint server) and the I/O operations (SharePoint Server sends file to database) that result from incremental changes to documents. In fact Shredded Storage significantly improves I/O operations while reducing CPU overhead when saving incremental changes to documents. What isn’t immediately apparent is the negative impact to I/O operations for the inserting of new files and downloading of existing files.

The Test Results

The table below compares SharePoint 2010 and SharePoint 2013 upload and download times on the same document set. Our lab testing confirms that SharePoint 2013 uploads and downloads are slower — and in some cases significantly slower — than SharePoint 2010. This is a direct result of Shredded Storage. The overhead involved in determining how to split a document into smaller pieces and store those smaller pieces definitely has an impact on the performance for uploads and downloads.

Upload (speed in milliseconds) Download (speed in milliseconds)
Scenarios File Name File Type File Size (KB) SP2010   (A) SP2013 (B) Difference (A-B) SP2010        ( C) SP 2013 (D) Delta (C-D)
1 AA_Small TIF TIF 60 0.58 0.25 0.33 0.02 0.03 -0.01
2 AB_PDF Sample PDF 625 0.11 0.39 -0.29 0.02 0.05 -0.03
3 AC_SharePoint Training PPTX 669 0.15 0.72 -0.57 0.02 0.12 -0.10
4 AD_Drawing1 VSD 759 0.16 0.47 -0.31 0.02 0.05 -0.03
5 AE_1 MB Word Doc 2010 DOCX 1,082 0.35 0.66 -0.30 0.03 0.10 -0.07
6 AF_LV111-01-10 DWG 1,208 0.15 0.55 -0.41 0.03 0.07 -0.03
7 AG_1 mb image JPG 1,210 0.20 0.64 -0.43 0.03 0.07 -0.04
8 AH_Drawing2 VSD 1,659 0.24 0.78 -0.54 0.04 0.09 -0.05
9 AI_Customer 2009 PPT 2,192 0.34 0.93 -0.59 0.05 0.10 -0.06
10 AJ_2mb TIF Image TIF 2,579 0.32 1.01 -0.69 0.05 0.12 -0.07
11 AK_2mb Image JPG 2,725 0.34 1.06 -0.72 0.06 0.14 -0.08
12 AL_LV111-02-10 DXF 2,783 0.33 1.10 -0.77 0.06 0.16 -0.10
13 AM_3_6mb PDF Sample PDF 3,690 0.49 1.47 -0.98 0.07 0.21 -0.13
14 AN_4 MB PDF PDF 4,078 0.50 1.60 -1.10 0.08 0.19 -0.11
15 AO_Corporate Presentation 2007 PPT 4,248 0.49 1.69 -1.21 0.08 0.20 -0.11
16 AP_Analyst Briefing – 2008 PPT 4,434 0.54 1.68 -1.15 0.08 0.18 -0.10
17 AQ_4_5 mb Video MOV 4,627 0.46 1.77 -1.31 0.10 0.19 -0.09
18 AR_4_5 mb wmv video WMV 4,680 0.51 1.81 -1.30 0.24 0.18 0.06
19 AS_Internet Safety Presentation PPT 4,839 0.42 1.84 -1.42 0.24 0.20 0.05
20 AT_5mb Image JPG 5,267 0.50 2.15 -1.66 0.21 0.23 -0.02
21 AU_LV111-01-10 DXF 5,425 0.42 2.02 -1.60 0.28 0.25 0.03
22 AV_5_3 JPG JPG 5,457 0.55 2.08 -1.53 0.19 0.23 -0.04
23 AW_LV111-02-FL DXF 5,866 0.48 2.11 -1.63 0.24 0.22 0.02
24 AX_Corporate Slide Deck_April 2009 PPT 5,936 0.53 2.29 -1.76 0.18 0.27 -0.09
25 AY_LV111-01-FL DXF 5,972 0.44 2.22 -1.78 0.13 0.27 -0.14
26 AZ_7mb Excel File XLSX 7,415 0.68 0.89 -0.22 0.33 0.28 0.05
27 BA_SPC14_348_WhatsNewDevs PPTX 8,935 0.76 1.55 -0.80 0.30 0.95 -0.65
28 BB_SPC 2009 PPT 9,255 0.89 3.33 -2.45 0.39 0.34 0.04
29 BC_11_7mb Excel File XLSX 11,974 0.92 1.25 -0.33 0.73 0.32 0.41
30 BD_14_5 MB PDF PDF 14,861 1.24 5.08 -3.85 0.73 1.10 -0.38
31 BE_26 MB XLSX XLSX 26,557 2.24 2.79 -0.54 1.31 2.29 -0.97
32 BF_28MB_txt_TestFile TXT 28,787 2.05 8.58 -6.53 0.82 2.32 -1.49
33 BG_33_1 MB WORD 2010 Doc DOCX 33,947 2.53 3.24 -0.71 0.62 3.02 -2.40
34 BH_50MB_txt_TestFile TXT 54,265 3.69 15.92 -12.23 0.83 3.73 -2.90
35 BI_55 MB XLSX XLSX 56,356 4.18 4.90 -0.72 2.29 5.48 -3.19
36 BJ_70 MB WORD 2010 Doc DOCX 71,694 5.39 5.99 -0.59 6.55 6.36 0.19
37 BK_100 MB XLSX XLSX 103,108 8.85 8.16 0.69 5.83 7.86 -2.03
38 BL_103 MB WORD 2010 Doc DOCX 105,411 7.78 7.91 -0.13 4.84 7.20 -2.36
39 BM_180MB_txt_TestFile TXT 184,288 13.52 10.53 2.98 13.55 5.82 7.72
40 BN_190 mb Word Doc 2003 DOC 195,899 14.65 12.01 2.63 14.30 8.22 6.08
41 BO_250 mb Movie MOV 255,454 20.30 15.70 4.60 20.35 10.22 10.14
42 BP_382 mb Word Doc 2003 DOC 391,739 29.25 26.70 2.55 12.22 16.76 -4.55
43 BQ_540MB_txt_TestFile TXT 552,862 45.21 42.21 3.00 31.71 17.36 14.35

One Size Does Not Fit All

The test results above led us to examine the configuration options for Shredded Storage to determine if we could mitigate the negative impact on uploads and downloads. Unfortunately your options are limited. Contrary to other blog posts on the topic, Shredded Storage cannot be disabled.  You actually had the option to disable shredding in the SharePoint 2013 beta but that option was eliminated in the RTM build. The only remaining option is changing the default shred or “chunk” size that files will split into when they are stored.

For me the decision to disable shredding is a bit nearsighted.  Not all organizations use SharePoint for document collaboration where content is being updated/edited in large quantities. I would even argue that while some organizations do have collaboration sites where lots of editing occurs, they almost certainly have other sites where documents are simply uploaded and downloaded without edits or new versions being created.

A common example is document imaging where PDF/TIFF images are stored within SharePoint. Those images never change. Or, how about a document center that contains tens of thousands of published documents that are being read rather than updated? What’s more, Shredded Storage provides little value for these scenarios. It is true that even with versioning disabled the I/O between the client, SharePoint Server, and database Server will be optimized. However you will not reduce overall storage requirements.

Unfortunately you are relegated to living with Shredded Storage in hopes that Microsoft will provide, at a minimum the ability to disable the feature.  An even better would be an option to control Shredded Storage at the site or site collection level for added flexibility.

Solving one problem by introducing another significant problem is going to make for some unhappy campers who are already struggling to keep up with the explosive growth of their SharePoint content.

In part 2, we will address using RBS with Shredded Storage, including debunking myths, reviewing how RBS functions with Shredding Storage, and discussing best practices for optimizing RBS.

Continuous BLOB Backup with StoragePoint

By now, you probably are aware that StoragePoint v4.0 has been released this week.  With the release of StoragePoint v4.0, we are excited for new features that will greatly improve your SharePoint backup and restore experience.  Not only does StoragePoint v4.0 improve SharePoint performance and reduce storage costs, we can now automatically backup BLOBs allowing our customers to satisfy requirements for Recover Point Objectives that were previously difficult to meet.

In addition to continuous BLOB backup, the latest version of StoragePoint provides granular, item-level restore capability that works with standard out-of-the-box tools.  Here’s how continuous BLOB backup and the granular restore capability can greatly improve your backup/restore experience with SharePoint.

SharePoint Remote BLOB Storage (RBS) providers like Metalogix StoragePoint allow you to externalize unstructured data normally stored within SharePoint content databases to cost effective, tiered storage locations.  This results in up to 95% reduction in your content database size, increases performance of your SharePoint server farm, and now significantly improves backup and restore performance.

As files are uploaded to SharePoint, StoragePoint externalizes BLOBs in real-time allowing metadata to continue to be stored in the SharePoint content database.   By enabling StoragePoint continuous BLOB backup, a copy of each externalized BLOB will be written to a backup location.  Since the majority of your content database is comprised of unstructured data (i.e. BLOBs), proactively backing up BLOBs leaves very little data to backup on a regular interval using out-of-the-box backup tools.

StoragePoint v4.0 BLOB Backup

SharePoint undoubtedly has become a mission critical platform for many organizations that now rely on its robust Enterprise Content Management (ECM) capabilities.  Due to the critical nature of SharePoint organizations with growing environments now require very low Recover Point Objectives (RPO).

Traditional backup and restore tools often fail to meet the aggressive RPO requirements that organizations demand.  This is in part due to the speed at which these tools can execute backups often taking eight or more hours to backup 1TB of data.  The result is a backup approach that will not meet RPO requirements.  The combination of continuous BLOB backup and granular restore capability along with the benefits StoragePoint Remote Blob Storage (RBS) makes for a solid platform for scaling your SharePoint environment.  For more information about Metalogix StoragePoint visit the product page or request a demonstration.