André Krijnen

SharePoint 2010: (pilot , poc) Sites, webs, contentdb’s, what you should(n’t) do

by on Oct.28, 2011, under SharePoint 2010, SharePoint Foundation

Before I begin my blog I will thank everyone who thought this allready over and made it available thru all types of conferences worldwide.

First of all, this is my own comment about how to do work around with Sites, Webs, content database, etc. This is my own opinion based on what I’ve learned the last years and my based on my own experience combined with the experience from others.

So, let’s start with an example which causes me to write this blog:

A mid-size company started of with a simple pilot of SharePoint 2010. This pilot was to discover how SharePoint works, and does it fit within the organization. We agreed before we started to start all over again when the company decided to go further with SharePoint. Well after an half year the company decided to go further with SharePoint, but yet the pilot environment was allready promoted to production before we could started all over again.

Allright I thought, when everything is ok, and we don’t have any issues regarding the environment we can do that, because the physical as the logical architecture was future proof designed. Multiple Content Databases, multiple site collections, etc. The only thing we had to was give some servers more memory. That’s all.

I had installed, configured and designed the infrastructure, so I knew that kind of issues can happen, when a pilot environment will be promoted as a production environment. I wasn’t committed when others had the intranet designed with sites,templates, etc for the Pilot. But well, I’ve made some critical decisions in the infrastructure, but maybe I forget to mention it correctly. My bad.

In februari I was asked to go further with the environment, and we attached Reporting Services, Datawarehousing, etc. No issues there.

But now, when the point arrives we grow larger and larger, and when I checked the databases it was all good, because all databases where used. But then I saw one big problem. Yes, they didn’t use the Site Collections I’ve made in the start, but created just sub SPWebs. Ouch, yes here we go.

So, now we have to migrate 25 GB of subwebs to one of the Site Collections I created at the start. Well. it takes days to do it well, everything you have done in the early stages are allready critical in the organization, so you can’t make mistakes. Everything has to work as before when your migrated. Well convert to SPSite is one hell of task to do.

I think I’ve tested the migration over and over again. Used the information given by Gary Lapointe, and went further with it. Came up with more then 257 errors. Well okay, that isn’t much, but it doesn’t tell the errors you’ll get functional. Yes functional!!

Every site, list, workflow, CQWP has to be tested. And I mean, really tested if it works as before. I can tell you, I have to replace every CQWP, some lists are getting corrupted, content types are missing, list pages are gone, pages are not behaving as they should.

So before you decide to start of with a pilot think as a production site, because it will help you a lot and other a lot. SharePoint 2010 is scalable, ensure that your sites are scalable as well. Think scalable act scalable.


  • Think as production!
  • Start with multiple content databases
  • Start with multiple Site Collections (For example: departments, teams, HR, sales, etc)
  • If you think the SPWeb can grow large (over 50GB) use a Site Collection
  • Start with a decent infrastructure (production type)
  • Ensure that the people working with SharePoint are using these Site Collections instead of making all kinds of Sub Webs
  • Don’ts

  • Think it is really a Pilot or PoC environment
  • Think that you can start all over again when the Pilot or PoC is over
  • That you can handle a full blown with a single Site collection and Single Content database
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