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Programming Microsoft® SQL Server™ 2008 by Leonard Lobel, Andrew Brust, and Stephen Forte

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BLOBs in the File System

To address these performance bottlenecks, you can instead store BLOBs outside the database as ordinary files in the file system. With this approach, structured data in your relational tables merely contains path information to the unstructured BLOB data held in the file system. Applications use this path information as a link reference for tracking and locating the BLOB content associated with rows in the database tables. Because they are physically held in the file system, any BLOB can exceed 2 GB. In fact, their size is limited only by the host file system and available disk space. They also deliver much better streaming performance, since the file system provides a native environment optimized for streaming unstructured ...

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