With the recent refresh of the RBS Feature Pack a brief comparison between RBS and the SQL Server FILESTREAM feature may be useful.

 

FILESTREAM and RBS are complementary approaches for storage and management of BLOBs and we see them both continuing to evolve.

·         FILESTREAM provides a storage option that allows storage, efficient streaming and integrated management of large BLOBs in a SQL database by utilizing the underlying NTFS file system for BLOB storage/streaming. It offers fully transactional access and compatible operations as varbinary(max).

·         RBS is a set of  standardized APIs that allow storage/retrieval of BLOBs outside of your main SQL database where a dedicated BLOB store is desirable for various reasons. This uses a provider model for plugging in any dedicated BLOB store that implements these RBS APIs.

o   We have also built an out-of-the-box RBS FILESTREAM provider that allows a deployment to use a SQL Database (local or remote) as a dedicated BLOB store. This provider utilizes the FILESTREAM as the BLOB storage mechanism and ties the two technologies together.

 

Both FILESTREAM and RBS will have continued investment over future releases of SQL Server. These are SQL Server features that application developers should feel comfortable taking dependencies on.