SharePoint Performance Tuning – Part 1

I was recently looking for the SharePoint 2010 performance articles on Microsoft pages and established blogs, and found that most of them weren’t covering all the details. Some of them simply described MS SQL-based tips, , some were straight system related, and it was extremely hard to find useful SharePoint-based performance tips. I’ve decided to try to fix this hole and provide you all the SharePoint performance steps and details I know in one place .

SharePoint Hardware Planning

Before you even start thinking about improving your performance, keep in mind that even best tips won’t help you if your hardware is simply too weak to handle SharePoint environment.

This article is not intended to explain how to plan your hardware environment, but the only detail that is worth mentioning is that you should know the future details of your SharePoint farm BEFORE you buy the hardware, such as:

  • Total number of SharePoint farm users
  • Simultaneous number of SharePoint farm users
  • Services that would be provided (Search, FAST Search Server, Office Web Access, Visio Services etc. may decrease performance so you probably need to provide dedicated hardware for this)
  • Amount of data that will be stored and processed by the SharePoint farm on a  daily/weekly/monthly basis.

Knowing the above, you can probably design your infrastructure successfully and be happy with the performance of your SharePoint farm after the deployment.

Note: a useful tool to plan your infrastructure (if you know the above details) is HP Sizer for Microsoft SharePoint, which can be accessed at http://h20338.www2.hp.com/activeanswers/Secure/548230-0-0-0-121.html .

SharePoint Front End Caching

With the SharePoint Server 2010ships with strong caching capabilities, like BLOB (Binary Large OBject) cache, profiled cache and object cache. We’ll start with the BLOB.

BLOB cache is disk-based caching that highly increases browser performance and reduces database loads, since the SharePoint reads cached content from BLOB files, instead of databases.  When you open a web page for first time, the files will be copied from the database to the cache on the hard drive on SharePoint server and then all subsequent  requests to this site will be accessed from the local hard drive cache instead of issuing a resource intensive request to the SQL Server database.

To enable the BLOB cache for a Web Application of your choice, you need to edit web.config file. Access your IIS Manager on the Front-End Server where your web application is, and use Explore option to find where it is located on the hard drive (usually C:inetpubwwwrootwss…).

SharePoint Performance

IIS Manager Explore option for application SharePoint – 80

Next, open the web.config file with your favorite text editor (notepad will be sufficient for this).

SharePoint Performance

Web.config file in the application root directory

Now, find the line starting with:

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