Microsoft has announced a couple of data storage changes for SharePoint 2010. If you follow the guidelines and restrictions you could increase your database size significantly.

Increasing the Size of SharePoint's Database

Thanks in part to SP1 for SharePoint which recently arrived, you can now store much more content in your SharePoint SQL Server content database and Microsoft will support you. Prior to SP1 you were limited to 200 GB for collaboration and 1 TB for document archive.

According to the official SharePoint product group blog, if new guidance is followed you can store up to 4 TB of data (of any type) and there are no storage limitations for a document archive. You must plan for high availability and disaster recovery and carefully review a number of other capacity limitations.

If your content database is for a document archive and its over 4 TB in size, additional guidelines and restrictions are applied, including basing SharePoint Sites on Record Center or Document Center templates, you cannot use alerts, workflows, link fix-ups, or item level security on any object in the database.

Keep in mind that SP1 for SharePoint 2010 is not actually required to increase the size limits of your database, but it is recommended.

Support for SQL Server FILESTREAM RBS Provider

As you know documents are stored as BLOBS in a SharePoint 2010 SQL Server content database. Storing actual documents in the content database increases the size of the database significantly and can reduce performance. So many organizations take advantage of an RBS (remote blob storage) provider to store the actual BLOBS outside of the content database.

Until now, only third party providers were supported. But now Microsoft is support the SQL Server FILESTREAM RBS provider to store BLOBS on a Windows File System.

SharePoint 2010 RBS Providers

There are cases where storing BLOBS outside of the content database can actually decrease performance, so before you implement any provider scenario, make sure you consider all the options carefully.

SharePoint 2010 in Large Enterprises

Microsoft says it has made these changes because it has time to watch and review how large organizations are using SharePoint. If SharePoint is going to be used as a cross organization solution and not simply a departmental solution, then these changes are very beneficial.