Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 deployments vary from small to large, depending on several factors, such as number of concurrent users, content database size, and the workload usage profile. Administrators should consider a combination of all these factors when planning for SharePoint farm deployment.

The Dell Global Solutions Engineering team helps our customers plan their SharePoint deployments for various farm sizes and recommends deployment best practices that include the complete solution infrastructure required for SharePoint farm deployment – including servers, storage, networking, and the SharePoint application itself.

We recently released a set of reference configurations for deploying SharePoint 2010 for small, medium, and large organizations, with a range of options from, physical to virtualized to partially-virtualized reference configurations.

Four configurations for different customer scenarios are available in a reference architecture booklet, which includes:

  • Rack Server configuration: Up to 2,500 users in a SharePoint collaboration usage profile
  • Virtualized Rack Server configuration: Up to 3,500 users in a SharePoint collaboration usage profile
  • Converged M1000e blade configuration: Up to 10,000 users in a SharePoint collaboration usage profile
  • Partially virtualized, converged M1000e blade configuration:  Up to 10,000 users in a SharePoint mixed usage profile

A white paper designed for IT administrators describes a SharePoint large farm reference configuration built on Dell 12th generation blade servers and VMware vSphere 5.0.  supporting up to 10,000 concurrent users, with a mixed use collaboration and publishing profile. 

In this reference implementation, the Web Front End and Application servers are virtualized, while the backend SQL servers are physical. PowerEdge M620 servers are used as the virtual hosts for the WFE and APP roles, and the M820 is used as the physical SQL database server. The Dell Compellent Series 40 Storage Center Fiber Channel (FC) storage array is used for the database storage. The F5 Networks® BIG-IP® Local Traffic Manager™ (LTM) virtual edition load balancers are used to enable load balancing across Web frontend nodes.

The reference architecture used in this performance study enables high availability at all three tiers of the farm and provides complete search service application redundancy.

As a part of this performance study, several performance metrics were collected and analyzed:

  • Maximum concurrent user load validated:  10,000
  • Requests per second at maximum concurrent user load: 325/sec
  • Average response time at the maximum validated user load: 0.069 seconds

The above metrics indicate that the farm configuration used for this performance study could support faster, sub one-second farm response times even at the maximum validated concurrent user load.

For detailed information how these reference configurations are implemented and analysis of SharePoint Server 2010 performance, read these recently published papers SharePoint 2010 on Dell Systems and reference implementation for SharePoint 2010 on Dell Blade Servers and VMware vSphere 5.0.


For additional information, please also read about Dell Sharepoint Solutions on