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Managing Content Databases

Archived content. No warranty is made as to technical accuracy. Content may contain URLs that were valid when originally published, but now link to sites or pages that no longer exist.

Microsoft uses a database to store and manage site content. Just as each virtual server can host multiple top-level Web site, each virtual server can rely on multiple content databases to store site content. If you are running on a single server, hosting just a few sites, you can probably use the same content database for all of your sites. If you want to add capacity in a server farm, you will most likely need several content databases to store site data for each virtual server.

To make it easier to manage site content for large server farms, you can also set a limit on how many top-level Web sites can store content in a content database. You can specify a warning limit and a maximum limit for the number of sites. When a warning limit or maximum limit is reached, an event is logged in the server's NT Event Log, so you can take action. When a maximum limit is reached, no more sites can be created using that content database.

When you create a new site, the databases are queried and the new site's content is added to the database which has the most available space. For example, suppose your virtual server has three content databases, all set to warn you when they reach 2000 sites, with a maximum of 2025 sites. When the first content database reaches 2000 sites, an event is logged. When it reached 2025 sites, no more sites can be created in that database. When you are close to the limit on two out of three of the content databases, and you know that you'll need to host more than 2000 additional sites, it is time to create another content database.

You can specify any number of sites for the warning and maximum number of sites. To determine an appropriate number for your situation, divide the amount of available disk space on the database server by the estimated size for each site (plus a buffer). If you are using quota, divide the disk space by the disk space quota (plus a buffer).

A buffer allows the number of sites to grow beyond the warning level, but not exceed your disk space. The size of the buffer is up to you, but make sure to provide enough space for growth, so that you don't exceed the maximum number before you can react to a warning event. When the maximum number is reached, no more sites can be created in that content database. Be sure to create a buffer large enough so that your users can continue to create sites as required, without having to constantly create new content databases.

Content databases are created and managed at the virtual server level. When you create a new content database (or when you extend a virtual server), you specify the database connection settings for the content database. You can update these settings if, for example, the database server name changes.

You can create or delete content databases, and specify settings such as the database server to use for the content and how many top-level Web sites to allow per content database in a server farm setting, by using pages in HTML Administration. In HTML Administration, you can view the full list of content databases for your virtual server, and see the current, warning and maximum level of sites for the content database at a glance.

Managing Content Databases by Using HTML Administration

You can specify a default server to store content databases for all of your virtual servers. This allows you to create a new content database when you extend a virtual server, without having to specify a location or supply the user name and password.

Specify a default content database server

  1. Click Start , point to All Programs , point to Administrative Tools , and then click SharePoint Central Administration .

  2. On the Central Administration page, under Server Configuration , click Set default content database server .

  3. In the Content Database Server section, fill in the database server name.

    If you are using Microsoft SQL Server computer authentication, you must also supply the administrator account user name and password.

  4. Click OK .

You can create multiple content databases for each virtual server. There are two situations in which you create a new content database: when you extend a new virtual server, and when your other content databases are getting full. You use a different method to create the content databases in each of these cases.

In most cases, you create a content database when you extend a virtual server. For information about extending a virtual server and creating a content database, see Extending Virtual Servers .

When you extend a virtual server, the warning level is set to 9,000 sites, and the maximum is set to 15,000 sites. To change this after the virtual server is extended, you use the Manage Content Databases page. You can also create additional content databases by using this page.

Create a new content database for a virtual server

  1. Click Start , point to All Programs , point to Administrative Tools , and then click SharePoint Central Administration .

  2. On the Central Administration page, under Virtual Server Configuration , click Configure virtual server settings .

  3. On the Virtual Server List page, click the virtual server you want to configure.

  4. On the Virtual Server Settings page, under Virtual Server Management , click Manage content databases .

  5. On the Manage Content Databases page, under Content Databases , click Add a content database .

  6. In the Database Information section, select either Use default content database server or Specify database server settings .

    If you select Specify database server settings , fill in the database server name and database name. If you are using SQL Server authentication, you must also supply the administrator account user name and password.

  7. In the Database Capacity Settings section, type a number in the Number of sites before a warning event is generated box.

  8. Type a number in the Maximum number of sites that can be created in this database box.

  9. Click OK .

You can also change database connection settings and warning and maximum site levels for a content database.

Change settings for a content database

  1. Click Start , point to All Programs , point to Administrative Tools , and then click SharePoint Central Administration .

  2. On the Central Administration page, under Virtual Server Configuration , click Configure virtual server settings .

  3. On the Virtual Server List page, select the virtual server you want to configure.

  4. On the Virtual Server Settings page, under Virtual Server Management , click Manage content databases .

  5. On the Manage Content Databases page, under Content Databases , click the database you want to change.

  6. To change database status, in the Database Status box, select Ready or Offline .

  7. To change the number of sites allowed for a content database, in the Database Capacity Settings section, enter a new warning and maximum number.

  8. Click OK .

If you want to remove a content database, you do so from the Manage Content Databases page as well. Note that when you remove a content database, the site data stored in that database is not deleted. You can reconnect to the content database later to restore the sites.

Remove a content database

  1. Click Start , point to All Programs , point to Administrative Tools , and then click SharePoint Central Administration .

  2. On the Central Administration page, under Virtual Server Configuration , click Configure virtual server settings .

  3. On the Virtual Server List page, select the virtual server you want to configure.

  4. On the Virtual Server Settings page, under Virtual Server Management , click Manage content databases .

  5. On the Manage Content Databases page, under Content Databases , select the database you want to change.

  6. On the Manage Content Database Settings page, in the Remove Content Database section, select the Remove content database check box.

  7. Click OK .

You can reconnect to a content database that you have removed by adding it again. To reconnect to an existing content database, you need to use the same database server and database name. There are additional steps if you are reconnecting to a content database after restoring the database to a new server farm. For more information, see "Backing Up and Restoring Databases by Using the SQL Server 2000 Tools" in the Windows SharePoint Services Administrator's Guide.

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