Microsoft SharePoint-based document management solutions provide a feature-rich, easy to use and cost-effective platform for managing the complete lifecycle of your documents and files. Features, such as version management, metadata and item-level security, easily tilt your infrastructure selection deliberation towards SharePoint.
Unfortunately, there are built-in capacity limitations that could prove to be hazardous if not taken into account beforehand. SharePoint stores all of its data (e.g. files, metadata, site structure) in content databases. You can assign multiple content databases to a single SharePoint web application, but each site collection (a top-level site with the hierarchy of children sites) must reside in a single database, which can be shared by multiple site collections. When using SharePoint as your primary file storage, the database size grows very rapidly and could easily reach several hundreds of gigabytes within months. You need to keep in mind that all disaster recovery operations, such as backup and restore are performed at a single content database level at least. If the database grows too large, the chances of backup failure grow as well.
It is possible to create a system made up out of a combination of multiple site collections. Unfortunately, there are several key features that are not shared across site collections. These features include among others:
- Unified navigation system
- Permission inheritance
- Master page inheritance
- Site column and content type inheritance
Infowise Enterprise Capacity Solution allows you to overcome the most serious limitations, by providing a custom unified cross-site collection navigation, permission inheritance and master page replication (optional).
The solution wraps the site creation process to give the end users the ability to seamlessly create sites in new site collections (and by extension in new content databases), while preserving the simplicity of the regular site creation. Your new site looks like a regular child site, is placed directly under your current site in the navigation menus and optionally inherits its users and master page.
ECS takes over the navigation and site creation components without changing the look and feel of the site and without introducing new visual elements.
As a result, your system appears to users as one unified structure, while in the background you decide how to split it into a set of content databases, which can be backed-up, moved and restored individually.