- I feel like I have too many site collections.
- It feels like it's difficult to manage the security of all of my site collections.
- Publishing based navigation doesn't cross the site collection boundary.
- We're really only hosting a single "site" in this web application anyway.
- Maximal, you can only have one Content Database per Site Collection.
- More content databases allow for different SQL Server based backup schedules based on the site collection's use.
- Content Databases will be at their smallest (individually) when there's only one Site Collection in each database.
- Content Databases can be distributed across multiple SQL Server instances, distributing the SQL workload across a SQL grid.
- Power Shell & Central Admin based backups all you to backup individual Site Collections.
- If you have one big site collection, your backup is going to be one big file.
What do you gain by consolidating Site Collections?
- Security will be just as difficult.
- If you users are installing no-code solutions (i.e. site templates), they'll need to be site collection admins. This can get complicated quickly if users become an admin of the entire web app.
- You'll still need to audit the entire hierarchy's ACLs to ensure you're protecting information appropriately.
- Publishing based navigation can be used to navigate everything in your site.
- Granted that your web-sites don't get deeper than your maximum menu depth. That's typically 2-3 levels based on what you've munged in stock Master Pages.
- With 3rd party solutions for SP2010 and Managed Navigation for SP2013, the problem becomes how important is top-menu security trimming.
What are some gotcha's if you decide to consolidate?
- Depending on the tool you use you need to match Site Collection Features in the Source and Target.
- Many Collection level features install content types and list templates, if these aren't in the target you're going to run into trouble.
- In SP2013 if your going from a Publishing Site to another site, Export-SPWeb and Import-SPWeb won't let you pass unless Publishing Infrastructure is turned on.
- SP2013 Workflows: They may not enable after merging site collections. Scenario:
- Source site collection has some SP2010 workflow remnants, and aren't necessarily in use.
- Destination site didn't have Workflows enabled before the merge.
- After the merge the Workflow feature won't enable because some of the content types are already present, and marked as non-replacable.
- It's really a bug in the installer that it doesn't recognize that these are the same, but it sill won't go.
- Solution: Enable Workflows prior to merging, or you're going to have to re-merge with a site collection where it is enabled, or workflows will be a no-go.
Short story, Site Collection consolidation is something that requires more than a few moments of thought. Make sure you're doing it for the right reasons, take precautionary steps, and you'll meet with success.