Implement remote blob storage SharePoint 2013


During my journey of installing, configuring and exploring SharePoint I came across an issue implementing Remote BLOB Storage (RBS).

In the first place I tried to configure RBS using the explanation on TechNet: Install and configure RBS in a SharePoint farm. Although it tells you in headlines what steps to take, it contains a few errors and is missing some bits and pieces.

Because of this i decided to write a blog post about the subject so that you won’t have to do all the research I did to get it working.

Okay lets start:

Prepare SQL Server

First of all you need to prepare your database to be able to use the FILESTREAM function that is used by RBS.

1.) Login to your SQL Database Server and open the SQL Server Configuration Manager
2.) Select the SQL Server Services and right-click on the SQL Server instance that hosts SharePoint
3.) In the Properties dialog click on the ‘ FILESTREAM ’ tab and select all check boxes.

remote blob storage sharepoint

remote blob storage sharepoint

4.) Click on Apply and OK to close the dialog box
5.) Close the SQL Server Configuration Manager

Okay the FILESTREAM is now available for this SQL instance. The next step is to activate the filestream by executing a stored procedure.
Sounds scary? It’s not just follow these steps.

6.) Open your SQL Server Management Studio and login to the SharePoint instance
7.) Now click the New Query button of hit CTR+N on your keyboard to start the Query Editor.
8.) Enter the following query and click Execute

EXEC sp_configure filestream_access_level, 2
RECONFIGURE

sql-query-editor

SQL query editor

9.) Restart the SQL Server service!

Provisioning the BLOB store

Okay we are almost halfway the configuration of the BLOB.

The next thing we have to do is specify a BLOB store. This is nothing more than a folder we’re the BLOB’s are stored.
This can be done by executing a set of queries in sequence. In the queries provided in this post you need to adjust a couple of settings to match your own environment.

In my example below I am creating a BLOB store for the record center where SP2013_Record_Center is the name of my content database.

use SP2013_Record_Center
if not exists
(select * from sys.symmetric_keys
where name = N’##MS_DatabaseMasterKey##’)
create master key encryption by password = N’Admin Key Password !2#4′

use SP2013_Record_Center
if not exists
(select groupname from sysfilegroups
where groupname=N’RBSFilestreamProvider’)
alter database SP2013_Record_Center
add filegroup RBSFilestreamProvider contains filestream

use SP2013_Record_Center
alter database sp2013_record_center
add file (name = RBSFilestreamFile, filename =
‘D:BLOBStore’)
to filegroup RBSFilestreamProvider

After executing this SQL Queries It’s time to check if the result is as expected.

10.) Open the path provided in your query and verify that there is a folder and file created.

the next thing we have to do is installing the RBS provider components.

Installing the RBS Provider

This is where it gets tricky when following the article on TechNet.
The article on TechNet provides the wrong link to the RBS Provider that needs to be installed on the SharePoint servers! They redirect you to a page to download and install a x86 RBS.msi instead of the x64 bit version.
This Provider needs to be installed on all Front-End and SQL servers.

11.) The correct link to the download is RBS.msi
12.) Open the cmd window as an Administrator and browse to the download file is on the machine waiting for you to be installed.
13.) Copy and paste the command provided below in to the cmd window.

msiexec /qn /lvx* rbs_install_log.txt /i RBS.msi TRUSTSERVERCERTIFICATE=true
FILEGROUP=PRIMARY DBNAME=”SP2013_Records_Center” DBINSTANCE=”MSSQLSERVER”
FILESTREAMFILEGROUP=RBSFilestreamProvider FILESTREAMSTORENAME=FilestreamProvider_1

Again change the name of the content database (SP2013_Records_Center) and the Instance name (MSSQLSERVER) matching your own server.

14.) Fine, now that’s done check the log file that sits at the same location as the initial .msi file. Somewhere at the bottom there should be shown a Completed Succesfully message.

We’re almost done now 🙂 the only thing needed, besides testing, is enabling RBS for the content databases that you want to use.

Enable Remote BLOB Storage for the content databases.

15.) The easiest way to do this is using the SharePoint management Shell. Make sure you run this as Administrator.

First of all we need to get the content database for the web application. After we placed the content database in a variable we can use it to change the settings of that content database.

Sound all very difficult but it is not. To make it easy i wrote a PowerShell function that does the job. The only thing you need to do is run the script and tell the script what the URL of the web application is.

$cdb = Get-SPContentDatabase –WebApplication
$rbss = $cdb.RemoteBlobStorageSettings
$rbss.Installed()
$rbss.Enable()
$rbss.SetActiveProviderName($rbss.GetProviderNames()[0])
$rbss.Installed()

Configure the minimum file size (Threshold)

The last thing that needs to be done is configuring the minimum file size for the files that needs to be stored outside the content databases. By default this is set to 60 kb but I would recommend to change this to 1 MB.

16.) Open up the good old PowerShell again and execute the following code.

$cdb = Get-SPContentDatabase –WebApplication
$cdb.RemoteBlobStorageSettings.MinimumBlobStorageSize=1048576
$cdb.Update()
Migrate data from or to the RBS

If you activate RBS in an existing SharePoint environment you might want to move the current data out of the database to the BLOB location. Again this can be achieved through PowerShell.

17.) You might have guessed it already, Open PowerShell to execute the following code.

$cdb = Get-SPContentDatabase –WebApplication
rbss = $cdb.RemoteBlobStorageSettings
$rbss.Migrate()

Depending on the amount of data in your databases this can take quiet a while.

Please let me know if this was helpful.

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