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Planning and executing a successful content database split RRS feed

  • Question

  • We are running MOSS SP 2007, service pack 3, 32 bit, on Win 2003 server.

    I tried a few months ago to split a large site collection we have off its current content database onto another content database.

    I was unsuccessful in getting the data moved.

    I need to figure out a failsafe procedure for moving the site collection as it contains a lot of critical information.

    I know I will have to get a good backup of the current content database, with users off the system.

    I also presume that I am going to have to inconvenience the people using the other site collection in this content database - to do the backup, and the move, I will have to put the original content database in read-only somehow, right?

    The current site collection is 44963MB, which means that I am going to need 150 GB of disk space, or more, to use as working space.

    I am concerned about what else I might encounter, and whether the users will see differences after the split.

    Does anyone have feedback on those issues?

    Thank you

    Tuesday, July 30, 2013 11:54 AM

All replies

  • What method did you try? Technically, moving site collections is straightforward, check out Mergecontentdbs: Stsadm operation (Office SharePoint Server). Alternatively you could do a site collection backup, delete, and restore. Expect this to run around 15 GB/hour.

    If you're keeping the URL the same your existing work around navigation and links between pages should continue to work.

    You'll need a lot of disk on your SQL box to accommodate the transaction log updates.

    Plan to do this work off-hours, moving 50 GB will impact your users.


    Tuesday, July 30, 2013 10:48 PM
  • > What method did you try? 

    We were using Axceler's ControlPoint. It uses APIs similar to what the stsadm uses, according to their documentations.

    Some of the small moves worked fine. For some of the larger moves, the command line was used when we had problems with

    the application. When we got to the 50 GB one, the amount of time it took before it failed was so long, our maintenance window was over.

    We didn't yet schedule a window to try the 50 GB via command line.

    We are keeping the same URL,

    When we have tried this, we worked on the weekend after informing users that their site would be unavailable.

    Wednesday, August 7, 2013 12:39 PM
  • I recommend you follow you available Axceler support options. They'll have a better understanding and be able to provide better guidance (disclosure: I work for an Axceler partner)

    Wednesday, August 7, 2013 12:54 PM
  • Jason, thanks for your reply. I have been working with Axceler. What this thread was intended for was to figure out all the steps I would need to perform such a split manually, in case the vendor software is unsuccessful in performing the operation.

    I appreciate the reference to the mergecontentdbs page. My concern was - and still is - has to do with the fact that in my experience, I seldom get away just running one command line. Usually I find that pages like cover the specifics of one command, but do not discuss all the additional things that someone familar with performing the command knows that they also need to do before and afterwards to ensure success.

    I was just hoping someone with more experience than I might be able to share their checklist, or at least experience, with the "oh, don't forget to..." type information.

    Wednesday, August 14, 2013 1:20 PM
  • If you're keeping the same site collection URL and just moving the site collection to a new database then yes, Mergecontentdbs is a single command that will do this.

    Some things to consider:

    1. Todd Klindt has a good overview of mergecontentdbs, published when the feature was first introduced.

    2. The account you use to run stsadm should have the appropriate permissions (a full control web application user policy is best) in the web application, and both content databases (db_owner)

    3. When moving sites more than 10 GB the command can fail and cause database corruption (so this applies to you). Ensure you have proper backsups and consult KB 969242: The STSADM MergeContentDBs command may cause database corruption in Windows SharePoint Services 3.0


    Wednesday, August 14, 2013 2:40 PM