SharePoint Dragons

Nikander & Margriet on SharePoint

Tag Archives: Performance

Performance Hunting at SharePoint Connections Amsterdam 2013

This year, we’re speaking at SharePoint Connections Amsterdam 2013 (http://www.nccomms.com/Sharepoint_Connections/Home.aspx). We’re doing a session called “SharePoint 2013: Hunting Performance Issues” and we’re really looking forward to it. The first day of the conference starts at 19/11, and this conference is going to be so cool that Margriet decided to skip the MVP Global Summit (18-21 Nov) to be in Amsterdam. Maybe we’ll see you there?

Advertisements

Ping Dragon for SharePoint 2010 (ppclient)

The Ping Dragon pings a SharePoint page, using Windows authentication. It will request a SharePoint page and returns the HTTP status code as well as the time it took the request to complete. Ping Dragon is a supporting tool for the forthcoming PressurePoint Dragon for SharePoint 2010, a performance/load/stress testing tool.

Ping dragon is easy to use, you need to start a command prompt and pass it the following parameters:

– URL of SharePoint page

– user name

– password

– domain name

Get the Ping Dragon at http://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/Ping-Dragon-for-SharePoint-70fb299e

The great free performance, load and stress testing tools that can be used with SharePoint verdict

Here’s a verdict of a list of tools we’ve tested to see if they’re useful in scenarios where you want to perform performance, load, and stress tests for SharePoint. Note that we’ve deliberately left out the Visual Studio Web Test tooling, as we’re finding lots of companies that don’t have the required licenses to use it. We do feel that every software author of each tool deserves a fair judgment based on facts and arguments, the only thing is, this verdict is not going to provide any of that. We’ve looked at a list of 100+ performance, load, and stress testing tools, and discarded any that were either commercial or not Windows oriented enough for our tastes. For the small list of remaining tools, we will just list them and tell you whether we liked it or not without getting into the in depth arguments why we reached a certain conclusion. Is that fair? Probably not. Here goes:

LoadUI at http://www.loadui.org/ is a great tool with at first, a brilliant user interface. Later on, the UI is still proves to be quite good, but not as great as the various Microsoft tooling we’re accustomed to.

WCAT (http://www.iis.net/downloads/community/2007/05/wcat-63-(x64)) is Microsoft’s community effort and is low on UI, but rich in functionality. If you’re planning on using WCAT, you’d better also download the WCAT Fiddler Extension (http://blogs.iis.net/thomad/archive/2010/05/11/using-the-wcat-fiddler-extension-for-web-server-performance-tests.aspx) which allows you to record WCAT scenarios using Fiddler.

StressStimulus (http://stresstimulus.stimulustechnology.com/) is a Fiddler add-in that looks promising but failed on our machine because it couldn’t install SQL Server Compact (we love Compact, btw). This was caused by the fact that we ran it on a 64 bit computer, and it tries to download the 32 bit version. You can solve it by downloading and installing SQL Server Compact yourself. To complicate things, the 64 bit version of Compact requires the 32 bit version of Compact (aaargh), but after that it works and you can install StressStimulus after all. That was the point when we found out that the free version of it was so limited that we had to forget about the tool.

We can forget about DieselTest (http://sourceforge.net/projects/dieseltest/), it’s as old and extinct as a dinosaur.

As far as D-ITG (the Distributed Internet Traffic Generator) goes (http://www.grid.unina.it/software/ITG/), we should have known better when we saw the animated NEW images and should have stopped there.

With the Fast Web Performance Test Tool (FWPTT at http://fwptt.sourceforge.net/), we pressed ‘Start Recording’ and that’s the last we ever heard back from the tool. That is probably caused by the fact that the tool might not believe in communicating with the end user.

The HttpRider tool (http://httprider.codeplex.com/) started out all right, but apparently isn’t able to handle authentication scenarios which renders it quite useless (unless of course, getting unauthorized HTTP responses is your thing).

After all, IxoraRMS (http://www.ixorarms.com/) turns out to be not Windows-oriented enough for our tastes. We want a setup or exe button, okay?

Load Tester Lite (http://www.webperformance.com/load-testing/free-load-tester-lite.html) would probably have been a decent tool, but since we’re still waiting for our confirmation mail after registration, we’re giving up.

Loadster (http://www.loadsterperformance.com/) throws HTTP 401 Unauthorized when hitting SharePoint. There must be better ways than this one.

OpenLoad (http://www.opendemand.com/openload/) is a command line tool that allows to specify a single URL and simulates 5 clients. Doesn’t like authentication either. It does work if you’re exactly looking for this type of functionality, but really, if this is what we can get we prefer to write our own tool instead.

OpenSTA (http://opensta.org/) begins by setting our expectations below zero by requiring a system restart. Really, for this type of tool? It’s just not fair. After that, we find out that by default it expects the IE5 browser and complains that it can’t find it (no kidding?) and again we’ve had enough.

Ostinato (http://code.google.com/p/ostinato/) looks kinda cool but managed to wreck our web server in such a way that we decided to restore a previous snapshot. Having said that though, it did look like a powerful tool that requires more studying.

TestMaker (http://www.pushtotest.com/) asked us to download a version that was 600+ MB in size. Apparently we asked for the OS version of the load and stress testing tool, such sizes are ridiculous, so we’re not that desperate yet.

XLT (http://www.xceptance.com/products/xlt/what-is-xlt.html) finds us on a not so good day. We’re not really interested in playing a game of hide and seek to find out how to start this tool.

At this point, we remember why Open Source isn’t the end all solution for all of world’s software problems. The first three tools are our top 3 choices, but certainly, when considering this type of tool, it might not be a bad idea to try to get some budget for it and check out a commercial vendor. We’d say that except for WCAT and maybe LoadUI, there’s no free lunch and the free functionality is so limited that it’s nothing more than a teaser to buy commercial versions.

Requests per second –SharePoint Performance Management

It’s well written, entertaining, and very informational: http://www.cleverworkarounds.com/2012/06/09/demystifying-sharepoint-performance-management-part-4making-use-of-rps/ (check out the other parts as well). We liked it so much that we’ve added it to the SharePoint 2010 TN Wiki Best Practices page at http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/8666.sharepoint-2010-best-practices-en-us.aspx. We couldn’t resist to mention our favorite quote:

To that end, I would also be seriously remiss if I did not make you aware of the SharePoint Flavored Weblog Reader tool. It was created by Nikander & Margriet Bruggeman who run the SharePoint Dragons blog – probably the best SharePoint performance related blog out there. This tool was specifically designed to make it easier to analyse IIS logs for SharePoint specific information. It is a command line tool, but much simpler and slicker than the methods I introduced in this post. Instead of specifying a date range you specify the number of items from the logs to process. For example:

sfwr.exe 250,000 “E:\LOGS\IIS_WWW\W3SVC1045333159”

Optimize with Aptimize?

A long time ago, we did a SharePoint 2001 project (yep, the first version) where we needed to support 40.000 people. Really hard to do since at that time SharePoint could not scale out and everything including the datatabase (the Exchange-based web storage system or WSS) had to be located on a single server. We used a 3rd party performance optimizer tool that really helped a lot.

We haven’t really kept track of such tools, but here’s one you can use for SharePoint 2010 today: Aptimizer ( http://www.riverbed.com/us/products/stingray/stingray_aptimizer.php ). It’s always nice to have a tool such as this as an option. Also check out http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/7926.sharepoint-2010-tips-for-dealing-with-performance-issues-en-us.aspx it’s becoming a popular resource for checking tips about dealing performance issues. It’ll be updated if there’s any news on the 3rd party optimizer front.

More about performance

This is a nice link that contains info about performance stress and load testing: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/sanjaynarang/archive/2010/04/20/sharepoint-2010-performance-stress-load-testing.aspx Also, regularly keep checking http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/7926.sharepoint-2010-tips-for-dealing-with-performance-issues.aspx , it’s the best resource out there about this topic. If you feel the last comment is unfair, you’d be absolutely right since we’ve created that Wiki page ourselves. We’d love you to prove us wrong though, just add a comment about it and we’ll post it!

List throttling settings

Why is it that hordes of SharePoint 2010 developers try to lift the list throttling settings or think that it’s a magical button that allows you to optimize the SharePoint farm for whatever amounts you may need (e.g. I want to retrieve 100.000 items, luckily, if I raise the list throttling settings to 100.000 it won’t affect server performance at all!). There’s gotta be some best practices regarding this area, no? We propose the following Wiki page as the starting point: http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/8723.sharepoint-2010-best-practices-list-throttling.aspx

SharePoint performance and stress testing