Sharepoint Access Speed

Posted on 2010-09-18
Last Modified: 2012-05-10
We have a sharepoint server which will be accessed by approx 200 user both internally and externally. We have a 2mbs connection running through ISA to the Sharepoint server. I wanted to know what measures can we take to increase the speed of access to our sharepoint server in addition to increasing bandwith.

By the way the internet connection running to the sharepoint server for external access, is the same connection shared internally by the users for general browsing aswell.
Question by:r00ts

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sandipkharde earned 50 total points
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You should have database server and Sharepoint Server (App server + WFE) on different server....
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tedbilly earned 200 total points
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Sharepoint has to render content on the fly from information in the content databases.  In order to get great performance you need lot's of RAM on a x64 system.

With only 200 users I wouldn't worry about using 2 servers as long as the server you have has enough resources.
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itgroove earned 150 total points
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A couple of things you could try:
1. Use sensible choices for all things theming (small graphics, help the page render faster)
2. If you are using SharePoint 2010, turn on the "developer dashboard" and analyze the speed of the pages (beauftiful tool, very informative) as they render, to get a sense for what, if anything, might be slowing them down
3. Consider turning off certificate lookups as they may slow down the overall performance -
4. If you are using MOSS or SharePoint Server, consider turning on the publishing features as the caching will help significantly in page rendering
5. Separate the database from the Front-end, but only if the connection between the two is speedy and like Tedbilly says at 200 users, the impact may be negligible
6. Set expectations - users inside your network are going to have better/faster performance on a GB connection than users outside. This also applies to file upload size.  200-500MB uploads could be possible internally, but this setting will typically be far too much through your firewall/outside/ISP and will likely timeout before they ever get to finish (in my experience) - and you don't want to set really large timeouts to circumvent that, as it creates a whole new bunch of issues
7. Tune ISA, Tune SharePoint, run the Best Practice Analyzers for both
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FastFngrz earned 100 total points
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* RAM, RAM and RAM - how much is in the box?  MS minimum is 4GB for SP2010, and 2GB for MOSS 2007.
* What version are you running, and are you x64 across the board?  
* Disable unnecessary logging - IIS as well as SharePoint.

Have you booted it up a test box/pilot box and played with it to see what performance is?  Depending on what you are doing, performance will vary.   Looking at the homepage vs. uploading a JPG vs. checking out a word document with versioning and content approval, workflow and policies will all have very different performance impacts on the server.

Check out - they have some free tools that might help.

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tedbilly earned 200 total points
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The number of users in this case is so small that typical performance guidelines might not be appropriate.  The 7 server x64 farm I built for Sharepoint 2007 is used by 10,000+ users globally with over 12,000 distinct page hits per hour during business hours in North America.  I've been doing extensive analysis with this 3 1/2 year old farm to tweak every ounce of performance out of Sharepoint to keep our very fussy users happy.  They hate Microsoft and are looking for reasons for Sharepoint to fail so they can use Drupal, Joomla, Confluence et cetera. Most of my performance tips could be a waste here because of the small number of users however here is some findings from our work.

- We detected no differences in page load times with IIS logging on or off.  In fact, we turned on additional columns like 'TimeTaken' to be used to spot server side performance issues.
- Sharepoint Audit Logging did impact performance so we turned it off.  The reports are useful but in our case the cost was too high.
- Switching to Simple backups from Full in SQL helped by eliminating transaction logging which I've found isn't useful with Sharepoint
- Blob caching made a BIG difference
- Ensure HTTP compression is working correctly
- Only use Output caching on pages with the highest hit count.  For example, a default home page set in everyone's browser or others that are frequently visited
- Poorly configured routers, and TCP/IP settings can do far more harm than you realize.  Make sure you've analyzed all connectivity first before tweaking Sharepoint extensively.

Are 200 people going to be concurrently using the server to request pages?  Probably not.  I have a feel you will be getting 20 or 30 page hits per minute which is a very light load.  Considering it's hard to predict the future I'd simply get a decent setup running then start some simple performance tests to get a baseline then observe the usage to tweak it.  The rule of thumb we use is any page loading in more than 4 seconds is very annoying for users.  That is a good starting point.

So assuming ISA is running on another system and you have one server allocated for only Sharepoint my recommendation is one x64 Windows 2008 Server with 16 to 32 GB of RAM.  Cap the SQL RAM to use about 1/2 the available memory and leave the rest for Sharepoint and the server.  If you can afford it, separate the OS, logging and SQL onto separate physical disks.  Use the best drives and controllers you can afford for the SQL drives.

Without knowing how you plan on using Sharepoint or the internet browsing habits of your users I don't know if it's worth it to apply TCP/IP traffic shaping like QoS.

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Thanks for all of the excellent advice

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