RBS Questions

Feb 25, 2011 at 4:46 PM

We currently have our images, estimated at 2 TB, stored on an external SAN.  The images were stored externally, with image pathing stored in the database, to comply with recommendations for SQL Server 2000.  We have in the past 8 months upgraded our database to SQL Server 2008 R2 and are interested in storing our images in the database to take advantage of the referential integrity and transaction processing.  In my research of FILESTREAM, I came across RBS.  The limitation of FILESTREAM requiring locally attached storage is not really a cost effective solution for us.  RBS looks like it will remove that limitation and work well with the Centerra storage that is available to us.  The applications we are using are not SharePoint and will not be.  It seems most examples talking about RBS on the web are using it in conjuction with SharePoint.  What we have today is a web service that communicates to our database and SAN storage and serves up images to the 15-20 desktop applications and web sites that require them.  My first question is: Will only the web service need to become RBS aware if we decide to go with the RBS framework?  Most of our images are between 80k-125k in size, is RBS a good solution for small BLOB's such as ours?  How difficult/easy is it to copy RBS BLOB storage between environments?  Our work revolves around these images and being able to copy subsets down to our TEST and QA environments easily is a must.  The other thing I wasn't completely clear on was if we use the Centerra storage device, do we bypass using FILESTREAM altogether?  It appears that way from what I can gather.

Any insight and advice you can offer me would be great.  There doesn't seem to be a plethora of information out there to help me answer my own questions.