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August 2012

SharePoint performance sinks, swims with SQL Server throughput

When things slow down in a SharePoint system, the initial fix is often to add more Web servers to better handle the load. But those front-end servers rely on the same back-end database server, and the back end is where SharePoint usually encounters the most performance problems. That’s because it essentially relies on SQL Server as both a database and a file system.  It’s not that SQL Server isn’t a speed demon; it can be. But SharePoint’s processing demands tend to highlight SQL Server’s most common bottleneck: disk I/O. It’s important to keep that in mind when planning for long-term SharePoint performance management. So what can you do to mitigate, or even avoid, the logjams that can snarl SQL Server throughput? Start by getting SharePoint’s binary large objects, or blobs -- typically file attachments if you’re a SharePoint person -- out of the SQL Server database. Both SharePoint and SQL Server support Microsoft’s Remote BLOB Storage (RBS) technology, which enables SQL Server to put all of those Word, Excel and other ...

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