Dell SharePoint Optimization

Dell’s SharePoint Infrastructure Optimization solution takes a comprehensive Microsoft® SharePoint® infrastructure approach which consolidates SharePoint unstructured content, backup, and archive datasets on the Dell™ DX Object Storage Platform, thus improving end user performance, enabling better manageability, reducing capital and operational expenditures and increasing SharePoint service quality.

After externalization of large content such as Word documents, PDFs, etc., from the SharePoint SQL Server database to the Dell DX Object Storage Platform using the DocAve Extender component, backing up a SharePoint site collection was 29x faster than backing up the non-externalized site collection, and restoring it was 32x faster. Routine SharePoint operations (browse, search, upload, and download) were 17% - 40% faster once this large content was moved to the external storage.

SharePoint is a multi-faceted platform that is being utilized at an increasing rate by corporations as a mechanism to manage and gain value from enterprise content. The growth of this content in the form of unstructured data and the increased reliance on SharePoint is challenging IT to adequately architect the underlying infrastructure to match and grow with business usage.

To help with this, storage and data management solutions can be deployed alongside SharePoint deployments in order to deal with the above mentioned data growth.

1.) Dell DX Object Storage Platform:

The DX Object Storage Platform is a new generation of storage platform that combines ease of management with scalability and resilience. It’s unique manner of storing data, be it SharePoint content, a backup dataset, or an archived SharePoint site as an object and not a collection of bytes, provides surprising ROI and TCO benefits that can be breakthroughs for IT departments.

The idea is to perform offloading of BLOB, backup, and archive flows from the main SharePoint environment to DX Object Storage Platform.

2.) AvePoint’s DocAve Software Platform:

DocAve provides a fully integrated and scalable software solution for organizations to streamline and simplify tasks associated with managing SharePoint environments, help comply with stringent SLAs including aggressive RTOs and RPOs for protecting SharePoint content, improve SharePoint performance for global users, optimize SQL resources, and can reduce risks associated with managing complex SharePoint environments

This study is simulated using the Medium SharePoint 2010 Farm. SharePoint is implemented in four servers: two SharePoint Front End Web Servers for high availability, a SharePoint Application Server, and a SharePoint SQL Server Database server.

DX Object Storage Cluster is included, consisting of primary and secondary DX6000 Cluster Services Nodes, and two DX6012 Storage Nodes with 12 1 TB disks each.

SharePoint roles are assigned to the various servers to maximize performance and availability. The Admin and Crawl components are assigned to the application server while the search Index is spread across both web front end servers, with each web front end server’s Index portion mirrored on the other web front end server. This provides higher performance (by spreading the work across multiple servers) as well as high availability.

DocAve's Functionality

1.) Extender

The Remote BLOB Store (RBS) feature of SQL Server 2008 can improve SharePoint functionality immensely by removing the binary large objects (BLOBs) such as large PDF files from the SQL Server database and storing them on external storage, replacing them with stubs. DocAve software contains an RBS provider through their Extender functionality, which has been certified with the Dell DX Object Storage Platform.

2.) Archiver

With DocAve Archiver objects meeting certain criteria – when last accessed, size, etc. - can be moved from SharePoint to the DX Object Storage Platform and maintained there according to a specified retention policy.

3.) Backup/Restore

DocAve Granular Backup and Restore provides for full or incremental backup of any specified sites, site collections, or content databases, to the DX Object Storage Platform.


1.) Backup and Restore Performance

Backing up the Extended site collection was 29x faster than backing up the non-Extended site collection, and restoring it was 32x faster.

2.) Load Performance

The results of the test are shown in the next table. Using DocAve Extender to move BLOBs from SQL Server to the Dell DX Object Storage Platform results in performance improvements of from 17% to 40%.

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