SharePoint 2013 Shredded Storage Test Results

In this blog post, I’m going to share some test results when using SharePoint to store multiple versions of a file. As you can see in Test Results section at the end, the new Shredded Storage feature in SharePoint 2013 can mean significant improvement in efficiencies of storage requirements for specific use cases.

Shredded Storage Overview

Shredded Storage is a wonderful new aspect of SharePoint 2013 that lives under the hood and silently runs invisibly performing great feats. What it does is for each version of a document, instead of storing the whole document and all the metadata, it only stores the deltas (or differences). This is a grand improvement for architects, system administrators, and business users who need to store many versions of the same file but with minor changes. I decided to run a few tests and document the results so people can see the benefits of this new feature of SharePoint 2013.

Test #1

SharePoint 2007 versus SharePoint 2013

PowerPoint Document Metadata Changes Impact

In my first test, I measure the impact of changes to metadata for a single document in both SharePoint 2007 (also known as MOSS) and SharePoint 2013. I created two single server farms in CloudShare, created a single document library in each, and added a single metadata field (list column). I then made snapshot of both so I could go back and retest under the same conditions.

CloudShare is an affordable cloud based development tool I use to do experimental work. At times it can be much more convenient than doing things locally since there are templates to build a farm really quickly, and I don’t have to free storage space or RAM on my local machine. If you haven’t checked it out yet, you should sign up for a 14 day trial and give it a spin.

The Test Document

The document is a single large PowerPoint document that is 10 MB in size (10,085 KB). Before uploading the document, I made sure that versioning was turned on in both SharePoint 2007 and 2013. Below is a screen capture of 2013, which hasn’t changed much since 2007 except for CSS styling.

To view the version history, in SharePoint 2013, you need to click the ellipsis (…) next to the document, then in the pop-up window click another ellipsis, and then you will get the version history menu option.

The version history will display the versions of the documents. Below in the SharePoint 2007 screen capture you can see the three versions of the document. Note that the only change I made was to the Metadata field which I used to store “v1” in the original, “v2” in the second version, and “v3” in the third version. Note that that was the only thing I changed on both 2013 and 2007. I did not make any changes to the document.

In order to make the changes, after the initial upload, I used “Edit Properties” to make changes to the metadata only:

You can see in the example below that the metadata displays “v3” which is after I had made the third change. After each change, I captured the database changes using SQL Server Management Studio.

SQL Server Management Studio

Using SQL Server Management Studio, I reported on all of the databases and their sizes using the Object Explorer Details View.

When you click on the “Databases” node on the left tree in the Object Explorer window, the Object Explorer Details window will display details. The ones I needed include Data Space Used (KB) and other database size related fields. By right-clicking the column header, you can add or remove the fields you need.

Once you have the columns you need, simply select the rows you need and use Ctrl-C to copy the rows. Then simply paste into Excel.

For my test, the important database was the SP2007-MOSS_Portal_Content, which is the content database that stores my document that I’m testing. To be thorough, I captured the changes in all the databases.

I captured the results in an Excel file and crunched the numbers to see the differences.

At first, I calculated the differences in database size by comparing the total used space in all databases. Then to isolate just the document (and exclude any database growth due to search engine gathering jobs for example), I only calculated the differences in the database size by comparing the used space in just the content database that stored my test document.

Test Results

The results were what I expected, actually even more efficient in 2013 than expected. As you can see below, the overhead of just changing the metadata for SharePoint 2007 (and also SharePoint 2010) is significant because pre-SharePoint 2013, SharePoint stores the entire document over again even if you just change one of the list column field values:

SharePoint 2007

SharePoint 2013













For the full spreadsheets, download them from my SkyDrive folder.

For SharePoint 2013, you can see that only about 80 KB difference for each version versus 10,300 KB. So for a 10 MB document, that is 12,800% more efficient or to put it another way, each document takes up 128 times less space. Over time this is significant, just look at the growth rate in pre 2013 versions versus 2013 in the graph below:

Imagine if this document’s metadata was changed 100 times. In SharePoint 2007 and 2010, the document would require 1GB to store a 10 MB file, but in SharePoint 2013 it would only require around 20 MB.

Future Tests

In the future, I plan on testing making partial changes to the document, such as adding a slide to a PowerPoint deck.

More Information on Shredded Storage

For more information on Shredded Storage, I recommend the following other blog posts:

To learn more about CloudShare, which I used to do this testing, visit CloudShare on the web at and see how easy it is to build a SharePoint 2013 farm in minutes.


5 thoughts on “SharePoint 2013 Shredded Storage Test Results

  1. Pingback: My SharePoint links January 8, 2013 | Jeremy Thake's musings

  2. Pingback: The Truth behind Shredded Storage in SharePoint 2013 | Jeremy Thake's musings

  3. Shredded Storage is both improves I/O and reduces compute utilization when making incremental changes to document or storing documents in SharePoint 2013.Shredded Storage builds upon the Cobalt protocol introduced in SharePoint 2010.

  4. Pingback: What’s New for IT Pro in SharePoint 2013 | Nik Patel's SharePoint World

  5. Pingback: Shredded Storage en SharePoint Server 2013 - Windows Técnico -

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