Setting up SharePoint is a masochist's idea of fun, frankly — but not all the things that can go wrong are to do with the portal software itself. Here are some other platform issues you should check when SharePoint is performing sluggishly.
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SharePoint guru and author Robert Bogue shared some common issues encountered with SharePoint during a talk at TechEd North America 2014. As he pointed out, the wide range of potential uses for SharePoint is part of the problem: "SharePoint is a dessert topping and a floor wax. It can do everything and as a consequence, people like to do lots of stuff with it. I have seen a lot of places where SharePoint has gotten out of hand."
Here are a few common trip-ups to watch out for.
A sluggish SQL Server in the backend. "If your SQL Server does not perform well, SharePoint will not perform well." One check: make sure the page life expectancy in SQL Server's buffer manager is over 300 seconds. Beyond that? "Add memory, add memory, add memory. Memory is cheap."
A badly-configured SAN. Messy storage configuration can reduce IOPs. If the average time per read is more than 20ms, SharePoint won't be happy.
Load balancer dramas If your load balancer tries to spread load across multiple machines, SharePoint may actually perform worse. "The load balancer is spraying the requests out all over and SharePoint can't get any benefit of caching," Bogue noted.
Excessively large indexes. Any full-text, non-SQL indexes created for SharePoint will be copied to every query server, which can kill performance. Bogue's advice? "Make sure every query server has 30% of the total size of everything you want to search. Resizing disks once something is in place is not very much fun. So add disks until you have enough."
Firewall and network madness. Poorly-configured rules on the firewall can slow SharePoint to a crawl. So can a bad network configuration. "Connect all SharePoint servers to a single switch," Bogue advised.