Revenge of the (SharePoint) BLOB and Backronyms

BLOBs stored in SQL databases can be horrific.  Oh, THOSE kind of BLOBs.    

I was on a call with a customer this week who said they were reaching SharePoint content database file size limits (100GB) and they needed to get data out of SQL Server – bad.

But first let’s take a quick step back.

What is a BLOB?   And What Is a Backronym?

A blob (alternately known as a binary large object, basic large object, BLOB, or BLOb) is a collection of binary data stored as a single entity in a database management system. Blobs are typically images, audio or other multimedia objects, though sometimes binary executable code is stored as a blob. Database support for blobs is not universal.

Blobs were originally just amorphous chunks of data invented by Jim Starkey at DEC, who describes them as “the thing that ate Cincinnati, Cleveland, or whatever”. Later, Terry McKiever, a marketing person for Apollo, felt that it needed to be an acronym and invented the backronym Basic Large Object. Then Informix invented an alternative backronym, Binary Large Object.  [Wikipedia]

Problems with BLOBs?

  • Pushes content database file size limits to max (100GB)
  • Poor performance for large files, especially write intensive
  • Large file upload time
  • Can’t easily & economically scale
  • Poor asset utilization SQL Servers

Microsoft says BLOBs are bad:

“Typically, as much as 80 percent of data for an enterprise-scale deployment of SharePoint Foundation consists of file-based data streams that are stored as BLOB data. These BLOB objects comprise data associated with SharePoint files. However, maintaining large quantities of BLOB data in a SQL Server database is a suboptimal use of SQL Server resources. You can achieve equal benefit at lower cost with equivalent efficiency by using an external data store to contain BLOB data.”    Source:

Up to 95% of your SharePoint  (stored in SQL content databases) is a BLOB!

The Solution: Get BLOBs out of SQL

Keep the metadata in, and get the BLOBs out!

This solution we’ve designed is perfect for those of you in that situation who may be reaching SharePoint content database size limits or if you just want to run things better and more efficiently.

You can easily get 90% of SharePoint content data out of SQL Server and onto less expensive tiers of disk.

Join us for a live webcast that will take you through exactly how it all works – on October 10th.

Please sign up today to learn more about it event if you can’t make it, you will still receive the recorded webcast after.


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