To say that Microsoft SharePoint doesn't always work as well as advertised is a bit of an understatement. The fact is that Microsoft SharePoint can be difficult to manage and performance issues can arise depending on how it's implemented and configured.
What's unusual is to see a storage system being positioned as a solution to the problem. At the Dell Storage Forum in London this week, Dell launched a new Microsoft SharePoint Infrastructure Optimization offering that leverages the Dell DX Object Storage Platform.
Over the long term, Dell is increasingly looking to make object-based storage technology a critical component of the Dell Fluid Data architecture. The Microsoft SharePoint Infrastructure Optimization offering is an instance of that architecture that is being applied specifically to Microsoft SharePoint.
According to Bob Fine, director of product marketing for Dell Compellent, this new Dell offering extracts and offloads binary large objects (BLOBS) from the SQL server database to the block-based Dell DX Object Storage. That shift significantly reduces the number of SharePoint files that are being created by leveraging an object-based storage system to limit file duplication, and Fine says it also significantly improves SharePoint performance by moving the database closer to the storage system. Once shifted, IT organizations can then also take advantage of DocAve software that Dell licenses from AvePoint to better manage the overall SharePoint environment.
The Microsoft SharePoint Infrastructure Optimization offering was made as part of a series of updates to the Dell storage portfolio. But in terms of being an example of how the application workload balance between servers and storage is shifting, the Microsoft SharePoint Infrastructure Optimization offering stands out as a practical approach to solving a long-standing problem that has driven more than one IT organization to distraction.