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SharePoint Online Content Migration Policy


Topic Last Modified: 2013-11-22

This content migration policy provides information relevant to the Microsoft® SharePoint® Online service offering of the Office 365 for enterprises dedicated plans. The area of focus in this guide is XL site provisioning for hosted sites.

SharePoint Online supports two types of site collections, the standard site collection and the extra-large (XL) site collection, described in detail later in this section.

Site collections occupy content databases and have quota templates applied to them that govern their size. When the customer creates a new site collection in SharePoint Online, a container object is created with a single SharePoint site based on one of the available site collection quota templates. Additional sites can be created and stored within the same container (site collection). The security, ownership, and portability of the site collection are centralized as a single object.

Each site collection is stored completely within a single database. A site collection cannot span across multiple databases, but a database can contain multiple standard site collections. Site collection size is restricted to the maximum database size supported by SharePoint Online (currently 400 gigabytes (GB) for an XL site collection). Any site collection that exceeds 90 GB is considered an XL site collection and must be isolated to its own database. It will occupy its own database, and no other site collection, regardless of size, will be allowed to share that database.

Standard site collections and XL site collections differ in size and in their occupancy of content databases.

A standard site collection is one that can co-exist with other site collections within a single content database. The standard site collection can grow up to a maximum size of 90 GB. At 90 GB a standard site collection becomes eligible to be an XL site collection. A configuration request (CR) is required to provision an XL site collection. The result is to apply a 200 GB quota template to the site collection and pre-grow the database to 200 GB. When calculating total storage used in the farm, only the actual amount of storage consumed by a standard site collection is considered. Any unused space within the content database is ignored when calculating total storage used.

Multiple standard site collections are created in a single content database, and it is not uncommon for the aggregated quota capacity of the site collections to exceed the maximum content database size (200 GB to 400 GB in actual space). The quota represents a limit, not the actual storage used. Because of this, Microsoft moves site collections to other databases to make space as needed during regular maintenance windows.

An extra-large (XL) site collection is a site collection that occupies its own dedicated content database. It is greater than 90 GB in size and can grow up to a maximum of 400 GB. An XL site collection is assigned a 200 GB quota template by default. This can be increased to a 400 GB quota template.

When calculating the total storage used in the farm, Microsoft uses the content database size for XL site collections, not the actual site collection size. The reason for this is that when Microsoft isolates the site collection to its own dedicated database, it reserves this space for the XL site collection; no other site collection can occupy that database. For XL site collections, the storage taken by the database is committed from the aggregated storage pool.

Any site collection containing between 90 and 180 GB of content is considered an XL site collection, and 200 GB of purchased storage allocation is reserved solely for that site collection. For any XL site collection whose content is greater than 180 GB, 400 GB of purchased storage allocation is reserved for that site collection.

For a site to qualify as an XL site collection it must be at least 90 GB in size. Any site collection that is smaller than 90 GB will continue to be in a common content database that contains multiple site collections. When a site collection has approached 90 GB, the customer can submit a CR to move the site collection to a dedicated database, so it can be grown to sizes larger than 90 GB. The dedicated database will be pre-grown to 200 GB for an XL site collection.

This section provides detailed information about the policies that must be adhered to when requesting for site re-provisioning. Failure to comply with the requirements defined by Microsoft will result in the content migration event being rescheduled until proper action has been taken. All content migration must be in accord with the policies described in this document.

  • Customers must submit a Configuration Request (CR) for SPOD-125, Manage XL Site Collections, to request XL site provisioning.

  • A separate CR should be submitted for each XL site collection request. Office 365 will provision one XL site collection per change window.

  • Office 365 will conduct Engineering Analysis (EA) to determine the feasibility of the request and the estimated time to complete the CR.

  • During EA, Office 365 will determine whether space is available in the customer’s farm to complete the XL Site Collection provisioning request.

  • If Office 365 determines that there are space constraints/limitations, the customer's SDM will be engaged to start a hardware expansion project. The CR will be placed on hold until the expansion project is complete.

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