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Plan quota management (SharePoint Server 2010)

Published: May 12, 2010

A quota specifies storage limit values for the maximum amount of data that can be stored in a site collection. Quotas also specify the storage size that, when reached, triggers an e-mail alert to the site collection administrator. Quota templates apply these settings to any site collection in a SharePoint farm.

By default, a quota contains 300 points. A point is a relative measurement of resource usage, for example, CPU cycles, memory, or page faults. Points enable comparisons between measurements of resource usage that could not be compared otherwise. For example, it takes millions of CPU cycles to make up one point, but each time a sandboxed solution stops working is counted as one point. For more information about sandboxed solutions, see Sandboxed solutions overview (SharePoint Server 2010).

Quotas are particularly useful when you are using Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 in enterprise environments, such as a company-wide intranet or an Internet Service Provider (ISP). You should use quotas in these environments to ensure that one site collection cannot use so many resources that other site collections can no longer function. You can assign a quota template to a site collection when you create the site collection, or you can assign a quota template at a later time. You can also reverse a decision to use quotas at any place in the site collection hierarchy.

You should also consider quotas when you plan your taxonomy and information architecture. For information about how to plan managed metadata services, such as planning where to store enterprise keywords, see Plan to share terminology and content types (SharePoint Server 2010).

In this article:

About planning quota management

The basic steps to plan quota management are the following:

  1. Determine quota template settings

  2. Determine recycle bin settings

  3. Delete unused Web sites

This article contains guidance about how to determine the quota settings for site collections in an enterprise. This article does not include prerequisite information such as how to configure outgoing e-mail, start the Disk Quota Warning timer job, or plan performance and capacity.

Determine quota template settings

There is no default quota template for site collections in a SharePoint Server 2010 environment. For example, a quota for a site collection might use the following settings as a starting point:

  1. Automated e-mail is sent to a site collection administrator when the size of the site reaches 450 megabytes (MB).

  2. Users are prevented from uploading additional documents when the size of a site collection reaches 500 MB.

You must evaluate the size and number of items that you expect users to store in their sites. You must also adjust these settings appropriately to ensure that the sites are used in accordance with an organization's best practices. For example, if a specific team or group in an organization has a business need to store a greater volume of content on its team site, you can adjust the quota limits for that site collection.

The size of the data reported by quotas does not necessarily match the size of the storage in the database. This is because the quota feature estimates storage figures for empty sites (that is, sites that contain no user content) and includes those figures in the quota, in addition to the actual storage from the database. The estimated size of an empty site includes the real size of the template pages for SharePoint Server 2010, for example, the forms pages and the pages in the _layouts directory.

If you change the values for a quota template, those changes apply only to new site collections to which you apply the template. SharePoint Server 2010 does not apply the changed quota values to existing sites collections unless you use the object model to update the quota values in the database.

Determine recycle bin settings

The recycle bin can help to prevent the permanent deletion of content. The recycle bin enables site owners to retrieve items that users have deleted, without requiring administrator intervention such as restoring files from backup tapes. Key planning considerations include whether to use the second-stage recycle bin and how much space to allocate.

The recycle bin is turned on and off at the Web application level. By default, the recycle bin is turned on in all the site collections in a Web application.

The recycle bin has two stages. When a user deletes an item, the item is automatically sent to the first-stage recycle bin. By default, when an item is deleted from the first-stage recycle bin, the item is sent to the second-stage recycle bin. The second-stage recycle bin stores items that users have deleted from their recycle bins. Only site collection administrators can restore items from the second-stage recycle bin. The size that is specified for the second-stage recycle bin increases the total size of the site. You must plan data capacity accordingly.

Consider allocating at least a small amount of space, for example, 10 percent, to the second-stage recycle bin to accommodate cases in which a user mistakenly deletes an important document, a folder in a document library, or a column in a list.

Items in both the first-stage and the second-stage recycle bins are automatically deleted when the time period specified for the deleted items expires (by default, 30 days). However, when the size limit of the second-stage recycle bin is reached, items are automatically deleted starting with the oldest items. Site collection administrators can also empty the second-stage recycle bin manually. For more information, see Configure Recycle Bin settings (SharePoint Server 2010).

Delete unused Web sites

You can delete a quota template if you change your quota structures. However deleting a quota template does not delete quota values from site collections to which a quota template has been applied. If you want to remove quotas from all site collections that use a specific quota template, you must use the object model or perform a SQL Server query.

Automatic deletion of unused Web sites can help you lessen the risk of deleting data that is critical to business operations. You should include the following tasks in your planning process:

  • Require a secondary contact for all sites. If the site owner is not available or leaves the organization, the secondary contact can confirm the usage of the site. If you do not have a secondary contact and you shorten the number of days or number of notices that are given before you delete an unused site, you might accidentally delete a site that is still required.

  • Archive sites before they are deleted automatically. You will be able to restore the sites that contain business-critical information or plan to store the content databases for a longer duration, so that a deleted site can be restored.

For more information, see Manage unused Web sites (SharePoint Server 2010).

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