Archives / 2008 / June
  • Readers Guide to the SharePoint Scalability White Paper

    SharePoint Server 2007 Scalability and Performance whitepaper was recently released "to provide strategic information about designing a high-volume, high-availability enterprise solution that can easily grow." it was announced yesterday in the SharePoint Product Team blog.


    There is plenty of good content here, lots of good ideas, and many attractive diagrams. As for the tests, these are idyllic goals to shoot for if you want great performance – minimize (or eliminate) inserts and deletes, keep fewer than 200 files per folder (if you do the math, they appear to cap it at 130), don’t use more than 5 WFEs, and spread your databases over many physical volumes.  


    Note that the testers assign 2 (or 3 in the case of H:) business divisions, each with its own content database, per 1 TB physical volume (Fig. 12), which is more SAN management than most shops are aware they should provide. This allows ~500 GB per division. It’s interesting that while the content databases stay under 200 GB for a combined total of <400GB, the used disk space averages 600.375 GB (Fig. 19). 

    To restate the point: separate physical disks remain the best path to efficient I/O, and sets of local disks kick the tar out of any SAN that doesn’t take the separation into account.  Just because you move “the storage problem” to a network service doesn’t mean you should forget about intelligent design. The best practice to provide separate physical volumes for the OS, data, logs and temporary files remains.  

    On to the test methodology. Note that in these tests they loaded the data beforehand, and the “user load testing” consisted of modifying existing documents, not inserts or deletes. No files, sites or site collections were created or harmed in the course of this study. Search the document for “delete,” you won’t find it. Why not? Because for each content database, list items inserts are O(n), and site creation and and deletion are (politely) non-deterministic. It takes an incrementally longer period to insert an item as it did for previous items. When the icon is spinning during site creation, other requests may (or may not) be fulfilled until the operation is complete. Deleting a site may also have an effect on response time. Again, this performance factor affects requests being served from the same content database, requests served by other content dbs are not affected.


    For constructing a document repository with relatively static content, or a Publishing Site for WCM, this is an excellent and thorough document. This whitepaper describes a "large-scale content storage scenario" rather than a "large scale collaboration scenario." That doesn't mean you cannot build a scalable SharePoint collaboration environment, but this whitepaper does not claim to describe it. Keep that in mind when you look at the performance graphs. As to the architecture itself and the guidance provided in constructing the test farms, this whitepaper is worth a look. Thank-you to the team who put it together, there's some good stuff here, but for the future I'd really like to see testing go beyond browsing, search, and file updates. 


    [Update 2009-09-05] Changed title from "Review of the SPSWP" to "Readers Guide to the SPSWP"


  • TSPUG June 25: Future-Ready SharePoint From Taxonomy to Deployment

    Toronto SharePoint User Group
    2 Bloor West, Toronto

    Wednesday, June 25
    6:00pm Registration and Social
    6:30pm Meeting
    7:00pm Feature Presentation (description below)
    8:30pm Closing

    This is our last meeting of the 2007-2008 season. After June 25, TSPUG is on summer break until September 17.

    Future-Ready SharePoint Architecture: From Taxonomy to Deployment
    by Eli Robillard (Infusion Development), Ruven Gotz (Ideaca), and Craig Lussier (Torys LLP).

    In last month's episode (by Mindsharp, with several courses in Toronto the week of July 14 to 18), we learned the benefits of designing an effective taxonomy. This month we'll continue with the how-to's of designing taxonomies, and then
    turn our business requirements and corporate taxonomy into an effective SharePoint deployment. Discover the techniques, learn about great software to support the design process, and see a case study of a sucessful deployment.

    To attend, please RSVP.

    Thanks to our sponsors for another great year!
    Nexient - Cyberplex - Microsoft

    TSPUG Takes Requests: Comment on this post to tell me what you'd like to see!

    Stay tuned for the announcement of the 2nd Annual SharePoint Camp, coming in Fall 2008!


  • WCAG and CLF 2.0 Compliance for SharePoint

    Here's a nugget. At the May Toronto SharePoint User Group meeting I met Mike Maadarani who got me excited about his company's CLF 2.0 SharePoint Toolkit. Orangutech is based in our nation's capital and they've been working with a government department and Microsoft to help SharePoint meet CLF 2.0 and WCAG requirements. From the documentation:

    The CLF 2.0 Team Site Feature will allow departments and agencies to create SharePoint team web sites [and publishing sites] that conform to the new Common Look and Feel Standards 2.0 (CLF 2.0) that conforms to the World Wide Web (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 Priority 1 and 2 checkpoints, which are collectively known as WCAG 1.0 AA.

    The toolkit includes two solutions, one with Publishing Site features, the other with Team Site features. Each include both a WSP for an automatic install, and a set of files with instructions for manual deployment. The Publishing site features include the configuration of English and French variations. The actual elements provided include a List Rollup web part, compliant English and French master pages, three page layouts (1,2, and 3 column), several style sheets, and supporting image files and javascript, mainly for the compliant menus.


    It looks like a good piece of work that should have wide appeal on its own or as a starting point for further customized solutions. I located a WCF CLF 2.0 slide deck on the SharePoint Community Portal but there is precious little documentation apart from the installation files and tutorial included within the download.


    Congratulations to Orangutech on the toolkit's release, and thank-you from the community for sharing!


    Update: I forgot to mention the Accessibility Toolkit for SharePoint published on Codeplex. Of course Mike is convinced that Orangutech's is better, I'll leave it to the Commenters to chime in.