I have recently wanted to create individual Content Databases for each new Site Collection that I add to a Web Application. This is excellent for keeping the content separate for backup and restore purposes. If you ever need to restore content then this is the best solution as you will just be restoring ONE Site Collection and not the entire Web Application.

Just as a precuror to this topic, this is what is stored in a Content Database.

  • All documents, news, links, contacts, calendars, and so on.
  • All Web Parts and their settings.
  • All customizations of sites done with SharePoint Designer.

So we are starting with a single Web Application with it's top level Site Collection. This is the Site Collection that is listed a "/" in the Site Collection List via Central Admin. My Top Level Content Database Name is WSS_Content. I now want to create a new Site Collection under /sites/ called sc1, so the first thing I do is create a new Content Database. Central Admin -> Application Management -> SharePoint Web Application Management -> Content databases. Then click on Add a Content database. Once in the next screen ensure that you have the correct Web Application selected, if not then change it now. The only thing you should change in this screen in the Database Name. I usually name the Database WSS_Content_[SiteCollectionName], replacing [SiteCollectionName] with whatever you want.

IMPORTANT STEP: Now put all OTHER Content databases OFFLINE.

Once that is done you will see that the Current Number of Sites is ZERO. Now all you have to do is create a New Site Collection via Central Admin -> Application Management -> SharePoint Site Management -> Create Site Collection for the Web Application you need and there you have it! The New Site Collection latches onto the vacant Content Database. You can double check that by going into the Site Collection List and selecting the new Site Collection that was just created.

COMMENTS: If you do not create a new Content Database first, then the New Site Collection will use the top level Content Database by default, which is fine if that's what you want. Give it a go!

Hope this Helps someone!
Dave Stuart