A Microsoft® SharePoint® Server 2010 farm hosts the core platform services and applications that provide many different functions for users. With the multi-tier architecture, sizing of each of the tiers of a SharePoint farm requires a comprehensive study of the workload requirements and performance capabilities of each hardware component. Dell’s priority is to provide accurate guidance to customers when recommending infrastructure elements of a SharePoint implementation.

Dell’s SharePoint engineering team developed a load generation framework to perform SharePoint load testing to provide guidance on choosing the best farm architecture to increase performance and keep client response times to less than one second. This performance data is provided to our customers to help them understand the impact of SharePoint collaboration workloads, and how to size and design the best farm architecture to support these workloads.

This white paper includes results of a comprehensive study and describes how a small virtualized SharePoint farm, built using the new 12th generation Dell PowerEdge™ servers and Dell EqualLogic™ storage arrays, performed under load testing. The key findings from this study are:

  • The recommended farm architecture was able to support 3500 concurrent users.
  • The farm architecture used in this study had an average farm response time of 0.31 seconds at the maximum supported user load, which was well below the one-second response time target.
  • The Dell EqualLogic storage backend was capable of supporting the above concurrent user load with an average disk response time of ~7ms.
  •  The enhanced processing capabilities of the new Dell PowerEdge R720 servers resulted in 133% increase in the number of concurrent users supported, as compared to a similar performance study using Dell PowerEdge R710 servers.

The paper also details information on how the farm was configured, factors considered while designing the farm, how Dell performs SharePoint load testing, and several performance metrics of various farm components.