Monday, February 16, 2015

Site Collection Consolidation

Site Collection consolidation is an interesting topic, and in my opinion one that bears some significant consideration before proceeding.  Why this article?  I recently worked with a client who wanted to consolidate from 50+ Site Collections to ~3.  The reason, the number of site collections seemed unmanageable at that point.  There was a only a single Content Database as well.  So since then I've been putting more and more thought in to the issue.  Here's some of the talking points:

  • Microsoft recommends limiting content databases to 200 GB.
  • Each site collection may reside in a single content database
    • Thus recommend maximum size for a site collection is also 200 GB.
  • Site Collections represent a monolithic security context, i.e. they do not inherit permissions from other objects.
    • One object may be that a Site Collection inherits the ability to provide anonymous access from the Web Application that surrounds it.
    • Site Collections inherit the authentication mechanism(s) defined by the Web App.
    • Neither of these are permissions, but rather mechanical 'illities that are granted to the Site Collection by it's parent Web App.
Content and Navigation:
  • With Publishing Infrastructure (SharePoint Enterprise), navigation can be auto-generated based on the Site-Subsite relationships
  • Automatic security trimming based user access
  • Publishing based navigation doesn't cross the Site Collection boundary
    • I'm not sure if this is good or bad.  I'm usually building single tenant intranet sites, so this isn't a plus, but recently I've had a chance to work with a client who provides SharePoint sites to multiple tenants, and this feature is a plus.
  • SharePoint 2013 brought about pinned Managed Metadata for navigation.
    • Each site collection requires a copy of the pinned data, which can clutter the metadata tree.
    • Security Trimming doesn't occur here
  • Lists that refer to other lists only occur with in a single site collection.
    • Again more of a problem for a single tenant with lots of site collections, a requirement for one collection per tenant.
  • Controls that pull resources like XSLT from inside the SharePoint Web structure can't access content from other Site Collections.
    • You'll need to duplicate those resources across collections.
  • Master Pages must be installed in each site collection.
    • Pages can't reference a master page from another collection.

So next post, more on Issues with Consolidating Site Collections.

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