Performance and Blob Storage

Two months ago I was at a SharePoint conference where I saw a nice presentation of Dan Holme regarding blob storage.

As per Microsoft definition – a binary large object (BLOB) is a large block of data stored in a database that is known by its size and location instead of by its structure — for example a Microsoft Office 2010 document or a video file.

After analyzing different opinions and articles, in a SharePoint Production environment, by externalizing BLOBs will improve your SQL performance. If your SQL performance is improved your SharePoint Server performance will be improved as well.

Below you have a small table showing the performance gained if you use RBS:

Without RBS



Database Size – 1 TB

2292 GB

26 GB


Database Backup Size – 100 GB

217 GB

7 GB


Database Backup Time – 100 GB

2490 seconds

38 seconds


Database Defrag Time – 100 GB

120 seconds

4 seconds


Avg. SharePoint Response Time

28 msec

21 msec


Large File Upload – 500 MB

55 seconds

29 seconds


Large File Upload – 1 GB

69.4 seconds

48 seconds


Extract from this article: SQL Server RBS Performance with SharePoint Server 2010 and StorSimple Storage Solution

If you want to use third party tools for blob storage I recommend AvePoint or Metalogix

Below you have another table showing the differences between filestream and third party:



Third party

SharePoint 2010 (Server and Foundation)

SharePoint 2007 (MOSS 2007 and WSS v3)

All SQL versions (2000, 2005, 2008, 2008 R2)

All SQL editions (Express/Standard/Enterprise)

Externalize BLOBs to DAS, iSCSI NAS/SAN

Externalize BLOBs to file share, WORM

Externalize to the Cloud (Azure, Amazon etc)

Native compression and encryption

Externalize to multiple storage providers within 1 CDB

Synchronous backup of BLOB store & SharePoint

Backup of content DB independent of BLOB store

Item level Recovery

Platform Level Recovery

Restore without DB staging

Content restructure (shallow copy) across Web apps

Content replication

Connect to and manage file shares through SharePoint

Connect to and manage media shares through SharePoint

Business rule support (content type, metadata, access date)

Externalize to hardware-based HSM

Source of this table is from Dan Holme’s presentation.

Additional information can be found at: Plan for RBS (SharePoint Server 2010) SQL Server RBS Performance with SharePoint Server 2010 and StorSimple Storage Solution Overview of External BLOB Storage in SharePoint Foundation To BLOB or Not to BLOB