I’ve Blogged a lot over the last 2 years about why you might want to consider a solution that allows you to get specific content out of SharePoint’s underlying infrastructure and in to a more appropriate location. I started whining about SharePoint’s propensity towards creating silos of information in 2007 and wrote a dozen articles specifically about pairing SharePoint with your EMC system last year.
This series of articles takes a slightly different approach to the problem. I’ll discuss the pros and cons of the different pairing technologies that you might be considering and then give you some guidance on ‘which one and when’ based on the things that I hear from customers, partners and the voices that I hear inside my head.
Specifically, I’ll address the following SharePoint pairings:
- Using a file system – real or virtualized to externalize unstructured content from SQL Server
- Potentially provides a method to relieve pressure on SQL Server, support tiered storage and as a gateway out to cloud storage.
- Using a classic archive to copy any content types, including unstructured, into a back end repository
- Depending on the implementation this can give you the benefits of using a file system plus more intelligence and security. This translates in to storage-related cost savings, support for unified compliance and long term archiving.
- Using a traditional ECM solution to store unstructured content from SharePoint
- Done correctly this can give you enhanced storage management, the ultimate in compliance and the ability to re-purpose and re-use your content within your organization.
- Don’t put it in SharePoint in the first place but use SharePoint Web Parts to access it
- A slightly different approach – if you really have a problem with how SharePoint manages the content then you can put it in a different location (your existing ECM solution perhaps) and then use SharePoint as a client to access those objects.
Then I’ll discuss which of these makes sense and when; how to blend approaches as your needs and deployments mature and also look at some sample deployments that have used each approach.