My Sites Infrastructure Planning for SharePoint 2013 On-Premises Farm

It is important to plan My Site Infrastructure for SharePoint 2013 farm and fine tune default setting to ensure SharePoint 2013 supports number of My Sites databases and storage quota for each My Site.

Here are the major areas you must consider while deploying My Site Infrastructure on your SharePoint 2013 On-Premises farm.

My Site Host Site Quota

  • Consider Setting the Quota of My Site Host site. By default, this setting is unlimited. Plan to configure My Site Host Quota to ensure it doesn’t grow out of control.
  • If Site Quota is not enough – Users can’t add a profile picture, post pictures in feeds, provision a personal site etc.
  • Check your My Site Host Usage and Site Quota using SPD, log in with My Site Collection Admin ID –

Number of My Site Databases

  • Check the number of My Site databases at the Central Admin -> Application Management -> Databases -> Manage Content Databases -> My Site Web App
  • Default Maximum Number of Sites created Per Database is 5000.
  • Plan to consider capacity planning for My Site Databases. e.g. If you are rolling out My Site Infrastructure for 50000 users, you must plan for changing the default setting or adding more databases depending upon the size of the database. Plan to ensure database size shouldn’t exceed more than 100 GB as per Microsoft’s content database sizing recommendation.

My Site Personal Site Quota

Max Size of My Site Databases

  • You must ensure you would adhere Microsoft Content database sizing guidelines. My Site databases shouldn’t exceed more than 100 GB.
  • Calculate based on previous two data values => Total Database Space required = Number of My Site Databases * My Site Personal Site quota.
  • Based on previous example, if you are rolling out My Site to 50000 users and each has 1 GB My Site, you would need 50 TB database space. With Microsoft’s content database recommendation of 100 GB, you would need 500 My Site databases. This is why My Site is one of the most compelling reasons to move to the cloud. At the time of writing this article, Microsoft allows 25 GB per My Site in the cloud.

Hopefully these information will provide you enough ammunition to plan My Sites for the on-premises farm and why rolling out My Sites to the cloud is compelling business case.

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My Sites and Site Quotas: The Nuances

Site Quotas in SharePoint 2007 are a great tool, but they can sometimes be misunderstood.  One of the most common confusions with quotas comes with their interaction with MySites.  MySites (IMHO) are a great feature of SharePoint 2007, and are only getting better in SharePoint 2010.  However, the adoption of MySites in many organizations is organic and unplanned.  Right around the time that MySites near critical mass, the desire to wrap some additional governance around the sites crops up.  Arguably, one of the most obvious governance tools for MySites is a Site Quota.  So the governance committee decides on some thresholds and passes the implementation down to their Farm Administrators…

Let’s put on our ‘Farm Administrator’ hat…

I need to enforce a Personal Site quota on my users, so I’ll just set up the thresholds on the Personal Site quota template, and apply that to MySites.  After that, everyone now has that quota, right? Wrong! 

Okay, so that didn’t work and now I’m getting yelled at because users are uploading their personal photo and music collections to their MySites, thereby eating up all the space on our SAN.  Since editing the quota template didn’t do the trick, let’s go ahead and create a new template and apply that to MySites.  Alright, now everyone has that quota right? Wrong Again!  [Aside: Remember, you can always block certain file extensions from ever being uploaded to SharePoint in Central Administration.]

 Darn it SharePoint, you’re really raining on my parade, what am I doing wrong?!?!

Like many really annoying problems, this boils down to semantics…Quotas are called ‘Quota Templates’ for a reason, they are a template, and act just like a  site template would.  After applying a template, if I make a change to the template, all new sites using the template will take the new values; but the old sites will remain static.  Here’s a laundry list of nuances, and a quick demo/proof of this behavior:

  • To reliably change the quotas of MySites, don’t create a new template, you’ll just want to edit the Personal Site Template.  I’m not saying that you can’t create your own templates, but why work harder if you can work smarter?
  • Quotas act like site templates; they’re a snapshot…So if I make site A when personal site quota = 10/8; then I change the quota to 50/40 and create site B, site B quota = 50/40, site A quota = 10/8
  • Don’t always rely on Central Admin to tell you the truth about site quotas and what a particular collection’s quota is; instead use the stsadm –o enumsites command.  Screen-cap below:


    • Administrator was a manually set quota
    • Test1 was using the initial Personal Site Template Quota
    • Then I changed the Personal Site Template Quota, did an iisreset for good measure, and made test2’s MySite.
    • So Test 1 and Test 2 used the same template, however they have different values since the template was different during each site’s respective build-time.

At the end of the day, the best approach is to properly plan for MySites and enact a reasonable quota template right from the beginning.  If that isn’t an option, you can customize (or search for other’s customizations/extension) stsadm.exe to iterate through MySites and manually apply your new template.

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Visual Guide: Creating and setting up My Sites in SharePoint 2013

One of the SharePoint 2013 puzzle pieces which got some major improvements are My Sites, User Profiles and news feeds. This article describes step-by-step process of setting up the my site infrastructure in the SharePoint Farm.

Prerequisite for setting up My Sites is having user profiles import or sync up and running. You can read more on user profiles sync in my previous article.

When this has been configured, we can start configuring my sites:

The first step us to go create (according to the best practices) own web application for hosting my sites. Go to the central administration, Application management, “Manage web applications”


And create a dedicated web application (sd2013:101 in my example here)


Now, the next step would be to create a site collection in the root of the newly created web application. You can of course create it inside some other managed path other than root, but since we have dedicated Web Application, root seems like an obvious choice.

Site Collection must have “2013” experience and use “My Site Host” template.


After Site Collection has been created, click on the “Managed Paths”  in the web application that you created to host My Sites.


Add a new managed path with wildcard inclusion. I prefer to use “my” as the My Site managed path, but you can of course pick up anything else.


The next thing is to check service connections for the Web Application which will host my sites. Click on the “Service Connections” button to…


..see if right service applications are set up.

If you choose “Custom” (instead of the “Default”) in the Edit the following group of connections drop down, select any service applications to which you want to connect the web application. The most important ones re User Profile service application, the managed metadata service application, and the Search service application.

In my case, I’ll just proceed with “default”


Now it’s time to set up the self service site creation. Go back to the Web application management, chose the application that you created to host My Sites, and click on the “Self Service Site Creation” button.


Click “On” in the “Site Collections” radio box, and enter your managed path in the “Start a Site” field (with “Prompt users to create a team site under” chosen)


Now, the next step is to grant users permission to create new site collections (for my sites). Click on the “Permission Policy” button in the Web Application management, with the web application which hosts the my sites selected.


In the”Manage Permission Policy Levels”, click on the “Add Permission Policy Level”


Call it however you want (“MySite Subsite Creation” in my case), and grant the “Create Subsites” permission.


Now, the new permission policy level should appear among other policy levels…


And we need to grant that policy level to the users. Click on the “Users Policy” button in the Web Application management, with the web application that you created to host My Sites selected…


Click on the “Add users” link…


From all zones…


And select the users which you want to have rights to create my sites. On my case, it will be “Everyone”.



Select your newly created policy level…


And now you should see “Everyone” with the new policy selected.


OK, everything has been set up and prepared so far. Now, finally, let’s set up the my sites. Go to the Central Administration –> Application Management, and select “Manage service applications”.


Then select the “User Profile Service Application”


In the “User Profile Service Application”, click on “Setup My Sites”


This is where you need to set up the search center, my host location (in my case – root site collection of the Web Application that serves as the host) and personal site location (managed path within the host web application – “my” in my case). Take a look at the screenshot for all the other fields (which I have used in my case):


The only remaining thing would be to set up the timer job for activity feed. Go to the Central Administration –> Monitoring –>Timer Job –> Review job definitions


Find the “User Profile Service Application – Activity Feed Job”, and set up the activity feed sync timer according to your needs.



And, that’s it.

Go to the my site now, and you will be notified of my site creation for your self. Take care of your profile, follow people. Upload you private documents, share documents, follow documents – enjoy being social! Smile




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