Content Database Size

Issue description

When the check reports an issue, it indicates that some content databases are growing beyond the recommended boundaries.


SharePoint Server uses SQL Server to store configuration and user data. Therefore it is extremely important that SQL Server be as fast and optimized as possible. The size of a content database can have an impact on the performance of the system.

As a general “rule of thumb”, you should not allow content databases to grow beyond 200 GB. If you are using Remote BLOB Storage (RBS), the total volume of remote BLOB storage and metadata in the content database should not exceed this limit.

Content databases of up to 4 TB are supported when the following requirements are met:

  • Disk sub-system performance of 0.25 IOPS per GB. For optimal performance, 2 IOPS per GB is recommended.
  • You must have developed plans for high availability, disaster recovery, future capacity, and performance testing.

You should also carefully consider the following factors:

  • Requirements for backup and restore may not be met by the native SharePoint Server 2013 backup for content databases larger than 200 GB.
  • The complexity of customizations and configurations on SharePoint Server 2013 may necessitate refactoring (or splitting) data into multiple content databases.
  • Refactoring of site collections allows for scale-out of a SharePoint Server 2013 implementation across multiple content databases. This permits SharePoint Server 2013 implementations to scale indefinitely. This refactoring will be easier and faster when content databases are less than 200 GB.

Content databases with no explicit size limit for use in document archive scenarios are supported when the following requirements are met:

  • SharePoint Server 2013 sites must be based on Document Center or Records Center site templates.
  • Less than 5% of the content in the content database is accessed each month on average, and less than 1% of content is modified or written each month on average.
  • Do not use alerts, workflows, link fix-ups, or item level security on any SharePoint Server 2013 objects in the content database.

Important factor to consider when scaling the environment and setting the limits are defined Service Level Agreements (SLAs), especially Recovery Point Objective (RPO) and Recovery Time Objective (RTO). Having large content databases means longer backup and restore times, which directly affects RPO and RTO.


Please check the size of the content databases. Consider creating new content databases and moving site collections to the new content databases.

To create a new content database, start SharePoint 2013 Management Shell and run the following cmdlet:

New-SPContentDatabase "<database name>" -DatabaseServer "<database server / alias>" -WebApplication http://sitename

To move a site collection to the new content database, start SharePoint 2013 Management Shell as an Administrator and run the following cmdlet:

Move-SPSite http://webapp/sites/sitename -DestinationDatabase ContentDb2

To achieve the same result in Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 and SharePoint Server 2007, follow the procedure described in the following articles:

Additional information

Additional information can be found in the following articles: