SBS 2011 Companyweb upgrade gotcha

Hopefully people know that Companyweb content databases on SBS 2011 Standard are limited to 10GB in size total because SBS 2011 Standard uses SQL Express 2008 R2 as its storage mechanism. What you may not appreciate is that there is NOT a 1:1 conversion process during a migration.

This means that if you are migrating your content databases from SBS 2008 or SBS 2003 Companyweb they may end up being significantly bigger in SBS 2011 Standard. This is something I didn’t appreciate until recently. I was working on a migration of a 7GB Companyweb site to SBS 2011 when I uncovered the issue. I had successfully migrated the databases to WSS v3 from WSS v2 but during the migration to SharePoint Foundation 2010 on SBS 2011 Standard I received the following error part way through the conversion process:

Action of Microsoft.SharePoint.Upgrade.SPContentDatabaseSequence failed

After a bit of Googling it would seem that this error is due to lack of free space on the source drive. That wasn’t the issue for me but when I looked at the Companyweb content databases they had grown to almost 10GB in size. Given that 10GB is the limit of the version of SQL that SBS 2011 Standard uses I had no option but to use a full blown version of SQL, which doesn’t have the database size limitation, to at least complete the migration process.

After completing the migration process I found the databases had grown from their original 7GB to over 16GB. This raises an important gotcha when migrating old Companyweb content. Even though your existing databases are less than the 10GB limit imposed by SQL 2008 Express R2 on SBS 2011 Standard you need to allow for the databases to grow substantially during the migration process. This would indicate that you can’t comfortably convert databases that are greater than 4GB without the risk of the conversion process exceeding the database limitations.

I can’t say for certain if different types of content (i.e. files versus lists) makes any difference and whether coming from Companyweb on SBS 2003 via WSS v3 or Companyweb on SBS 2008 directly makes any difference during the conversion process. I do however suggest that if you are looking at conversions of Companyweb data around the 4GB mark or more you test to ensure that the conversion process will run within the 10GB limit that you are restricted to on SBS 2011 Standard.

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