Wednesday, October 31, 2007

SharePoint - Branch deployment and WAN optimization

One of the choices you will have to make when setting up a SharePoint architecture where you have geopgraphically dispersed locations is  the decision between a "centralized farm setup" or "multiple farms setups" in different geopgraphic locations. If you choose for multiple farm setups you might want to take look at georeplication. I already talked about georeplication in SharePoint a couple of weeks ago but sometimes it is just more cost efficient to do a central deployment.  This will however imply that you will have sufficient network bandwidth so that you end-users in remote locations can still work efficiently.

So when you are faced with limited bandwith you want to use it as efficiently as possible. There are some different solutions out there to do network acceleration for SharePoint:


Other links:



BobGilbert said...

Interesting topic indeed!

Maintaining a centralized SharePoint dataset has many advantages over per location or regionalized data farms. If the data is in one place, you simply have more control, better security, and less risk of data not being "fresh".

Then why doesn't everyone just use one Sharepoint instance and have all distributed users just access via a web interface? The challenge is poor performance when accessing the central repository, not to mention the extra load that this traffic adds to your corporate wide-area network infrastructure.

Bandwidth is only one part of the problem. Organizations with plenty of bandwidth will still run into poor Sharepoint performance because of additional bottlenecks that reside in the TCP layer of the network and the application layer of the HTTP protocol that Sharepoint leverages at each client.

WAN acceleration vendors have products that can help and Riverbed's Steelhead products lead the pack as far as simplicity, performance, scalability, and capability. Riverbed has both an appliance for branch offices and data centers and a software client for traveling workers or folks that work-at-home. Riverbed has over 3000 customers with many customers getting dramatic acceleration of central Sharepoint repositories.

Check out performance results covering Microsoft Sharepoint on the Riverbed=sponsored online user community at There is an application performance area and an area that discusses HTTP-based applications like Sharepoint.

Clayton said...

Is there another option?

How about having a one farm installation, and each geographic location has their own Site Collection and content DB on their own LAN?

If other geographic locations need to view the sites content then they can browse via WAN or if they need to update content then you could use SQL replication?

I haven't put this into practice but I am after your thoughts.

jopx said...

The problem is that you can't use normal SQL Replication ...

Justin Lofton said...

Yeah, in our experience with our customers networks, Riverbed really does an awesome job of accelerating SharePoint and SSL traffic.

Justin Lofton
VP of Engineering
Tredent Data Systems, Inc.
Riverbed WAN Acceleration

Anonymous said...

Justin, seriously, do you spend your entire day looking for blogs and posts and then blatantly advertise Riverbed and your services.

Please contribute something useful to the blogs you post to instead of just saying "Riverbed is great! Call me."