A customer of ours wanted to achieve this and pointed out an article on MSDN that suggested this was possible. The article is here:
The following paragraph from this article suggests this is possible:
Extending eDiscovery to Span a Multisite Collection Repository
You can extend eDiscovery to support search and hold operations that span multiple sites. You can specify that you want to search all available site collections, query that scope, and place a hold on all search results from the multiple site collection scope.
To span multiple site collections, SharePoint Server 2010 creates an asynchronous work item on each site collection in the multisite collection repository, and then passes the search query and hold to those work items. Each site collection processes the hold request separately and sends a separate e-mail message containing results for each site collection in the scope.
The reporting architecture is likewise distributed: each site collection generates a Report object about the items that are on hold within that site collection. These reports are each stored in the collection of hold reports in the central hub.
To enable eDiscovery searches across the multisite collection repository, every site recognizes whether it is part of a multisite collection. Additionally, each search and add to a hold page in the multisite collection repository recognizes the list of all site collections within it and the list of all holds within it, and can restrict results previews to those within the multisite collection repository.
However, this rather weak article raises more questions than it answers such as these:
How do you provision a multisite collection repository? It says this is a subtype of a subscription but I can’t find any reference to it outside of this document.
There is no information out there – literally none. So after spending an hour or 2 figuring out how to do this, I thought I would document the steps here.
Configuring SharePoint 2010 for eDiscovery across Multiple Site Collections
We need to do the following to get this working. It is based on subscription ID’s so we need to use some of the functionality from a multi tenancy farm. So we will do the following to set this up:
- Start the Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Subscription Settings Service.
- Create a Subscription Settings Service Application
- Create a new Site Subscription
- Join the Site Collection to this new Subscription
- Turn on the Hold and Discovery feature
- Configure the “multisite collection repository”
Start the Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Subscription Settings Service
This part is easy enough. Go to Central Admin, services on server and start the Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Subscription Settings Service.
Create a Subscription Settings Service Application
You cannot create this in the UI so open up the SharePoint 2010 Management Shell and run the following Powershell command (changing the parameters as necessary for your environment)
New-SPSubscriptionSettingsServiceApplication -ApplicationPool <span class="str">"SharePoint Web Services Default"</span> -Name <span class="str">"Subscription Settings Service Application"</span> -DatabaseName <span class="str">"SubscriptionSettingsDB"</span> | New-SPSubscriptionSettingsServiceApplicationProxy
Create a new Site Subscription then join site collections to this
Join the Site Collection to this new Subscription
$site = Get-SPSite “http://webapp/sites/siteCollection1”
Set-SPSite –Identity $site –SiteSubcription $subscription
Configure the “multisite collection repository”
This was the challenging part, although once you know it’s very easy. There is a PowerShell command “Set-SPSiteSubscriptionEdiscoveryHub” that I discovered almost by accident when trying to figure out how this works. Run the following command:
Set-SPSiteSubscriptionEdiscoveryHub -Site “http://webapp/sites/siteCollection” -SearchScope “All Sites”
This should be set to where you want your “eDiscoveryHub” to be. Basically where you want to go to seach, discover and hold documents.
Once you have done the above then you should be able to go into this Site collection where you set the eDiscovery hub, go to Site Features and select the “Discover and Hold Content” link. If everything has gone okay you should see the following additional option when searching content: