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Optimizing Web Site Performance

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The speed with which a Web server responds to requests from a client depends a lot on the size of the Web site, particularly the number of pages and the other files it contains. You can improve a Web site's response time by tuning it. When you tune a Web site, you set aside a certain amount of memory as a cache for the Web site, based on the number of Web pages. You can tune a Web site for any size, whether you have less than 100 pages or more than 1,000 pages.

In addition to controlling the document cache, when you tune performance, you can specify cache sizes for images and include files. You can also specify how large to make the search index for your Web site.

For Microsoft® FrontPage 2000 Server Extensions, you used the Microsoft Management Console (MMC) to adjust performance tuning. For Microsoft's SharePoint™ Team Services and FrontPage 2002 Server Extensions, you can use either HTML Administration pages or the command-line tools to tune Web site performance. If you want maximum control over performance tuning, use the command-line properties rather than HTML Administration pages to specify performance settings.

Using the command line to tune Web site performance

To tune performance, you set properties using the SetProperty operation with the command-line tools, Owsadm and Owsrmadm. All of the command-line performance properties can be set for either Microsoft Windows® or UNIX and at all levels (server, virtual server, or subweb). This flexibility in levels is an advantage over HTML Administration pages, which can only be used to tune performance for an entire virtual server. By using the command line, you can also control the document cache separately for read and write operations in Microsoft FrontPage.

The following table describes the properties you can set to control performance tuning.

Property

Description

CacheMaxDocMeta

Sets the maximum number of documents kept in the cache when FrontPage is doing write operations. This is the maximum number of documents whose property information, such as Web site parameters, you want to keep in active memory. The size of the cache affects how quickly the save and recalculate hyperlinks processes can be completed. In general, you should set this property to be greater than or equal to the number of HTML pages in your Web site that contain FrontPage components. If you have a large number of pages in your Web site, you can choose a lower value to save memory, but this will decrease the performance of the recalculate hyperlinks and save processes. Default value = 4096.

CacheMinDocMeta

Sets the maximum number of documents kept in the cache when FrontPage is doing read operations. This is the maximum number of documents whose property information, such as Web site parameters, you want to keep in active memory. When an author opens a document after the cache is full, the cache is cleared and starts with the most recently opened document. Default value = 8.

CacheMaxInclude

Sets the maximum number of included files on a page (that is, files included through the Include Page component) that SharePoint Team Services or FrontPage 2002 Server Extensions will cache while recalculating hyperlinks or saving the page. Increase this value to the highest number of pages that are included in any page in your Web site, if that number is higher than the default value (16).

CacheMaxIncludeSize

Sets the maximum document size in kilobytes that SharePoint Team Services or FrontPage 2002 Server Extensions will cache internally. Default values = 32K on UNIX, 256K on Windows NT® or Windows 2000.

CacheMaxImage

By default, SharePoint Team Services or FrontPage 2002 Server Extensions set the HEIGHT and WIDTH attributes in all IMG tags in pages saved to a Web site. This improves the appearance of pages when a site visitor downloads them over a slow connection. This property sets the maximum number of images whose HEIGHT and WIDTH attributes the server extensions will cache while recalculating hyperlinks or saving a page. If you set this variable globally or per virtual server, and Web sites on your server frequently contain more than 16 images, you should increase this number. If you set this variable on an individual subweb, do not set it higher than the number of image files in the Web site. Default value = 16.

TextMemory

If you are using the built-in Wide Area Information Server (WAIS) search engine, setting this property to 0 turns off full-text indexing of the Web site. A non-zero value specifies the number of megabytes of RAM the server extensions are to use during text indexing for hash-tables and other data structures. For Web sites with less than 500 pages, set the value of this property to 1. For Web sites with 500 to 5000 pages, set it to 2. For Web sites with more than 5000 pages, set it to 4. Default value = 1.

For example, you can restrict the number of files that can be included on a page to 10 files. If you wanted to set this as a limit for all Web sites on a server, you could use the following syntax and set the CacheMaxInclude property globally:

owsadm.exe o setproperty pn CacheMaxInclude pv 10

For more information about setting properties by using the command-line tools, see Setting Configuration Properties.

Using HTML Administration pages to tune Web site performance

You use the Change Configuration Settings page in the Virtual Server Administration pages to tune Web site performance. The Performance Tuning section on this page lets you tune performance for sites with less than 100 pages, 100-1000 pages, or greater than 1000 pages, or for sites with a custom size. When you select one of the preset sizes, the tuning properties are set for you, but you can always change a specific tuning value, or select Custom, and set all of the tuning values yourself.

With HTML Administration pages, you tune Web site performance on a per-virtual server basis. This means that your cache should include enough memory for any subwebs underneath your virtual server.

To tune Web site performance by using HTML Administration pages

  1. Click Start, point to Programs, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Microsoft SharePoint Administrator.

  2. On the Server Administration page, next to the virtual server you want to tune, click Administration.

  3. Click Change configuration settings.

  4. In the Performance Tuning area, in the Tune for box, select the number of pages in the Web site.

  5. If you do not want to use the default cache sizes, specify the cache sizes to use in the Tuning properties area.

  6. Click Submit.

The following table describes the tuning properties available on the Change Configuration Settings page.

Tuning property

Description

Default values

In-memory document cache

Sets the maximum number of documents whose property information, such as Web site parameters, you want to keep in active memory. When an author opens a document after the cache is full, the cache is cleared and starts with the most recently opened document. Specify number of documents. Equivalent to the CacheMaxDocMeta command-line property.

<100 pages = 4096
100-1000 pages = 4096
>1000 pages = 16384

Include file cache

Sets the maximum number of included files on a page (that is, files included through the Include Page component) that SharePoint Team Services or FrontPage 2002 Server Extensions will cache while recalculating hyperlinks or saving the page. Increase this value to the highest number of pages that are included in any page in your site, if that number is higher than the default value (16). Specify number of documents. Equivalent to the CacheMaxInclude command-line property.

<100 pages = 16
100-1000 pages = 16
>1000 pages = 16

Image file cache

By default, SharePoint Team Services or FrontPage 2002 Server Extensions set the HEIGHT and WIDTH attributes in all IMG tags in pages saved to a Web site. This improves the appearance of pages when a site visitor downloads them over a slow connection. This value sets the maximum number of images whose HEIGHT and WIDTH attributes the server extensions will cache while recalculating hyperlinks or saving a page. If you set this variable globally or per virtual server, and Web sites on your server frequently contain more than 16 images, you should increase this number. If you set this variable on an individual subweb, do not set it higher than the number of image files in the Web site. Specify number of images. Equivalent to the CacheMaxImage command-line property.

<100 pages = 16
100-1000 pages = 16
>1000 pages = 16

Full-text search index size

If you are using the built-in Wide Area Information Server (WAIS) search engine, setting this value to 0 turns off full-text indexing of the Web site. A non-zero value specifies the number of megabytes of RAM the server extensions are to use during text indexing for hash-tables and other data structures. Specify in megabytes (MB). Equivalent to the TextMemory command-line property.

<100 pages = 1
100-1000 pages = 2
>1000 pages = 4

Max cached document size

Sets the maximum document size in kilobytes that SharePoint Team Services or FrontPage 2002 Server Extensions will cache internally. Specify in kilobytes (KB). Equivalent to the CacheMaxIncludeSize command-line property.

<100 pages = 256
100-1000 pages = 256
>1000 pages = 256

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