Monday, April 16, 2012

SharePoint 2010 - How to calculate the number of Web Front Servers (WFEs) / Web Servers required for my sharePoint 2010 site?

How to calculate the number of Web Front Servers (WFEs) / Web Servers required for a SharePoint 2010 site?


Capacity Planning in SharePoint 2010 is a complicated and confusing topic and there's not a whole lot of really good documentation around it.

There are so many factors that affect your planning in this area that it is almost impossible for anyone to come up with a solid number. Your performance would be affected by the server hardware, the client hardware, the concurrency rate of your users, the throughput rate required, the response time your organization deems acceptable etc.

These are just the factors that we actually CAN calculate into our formulae. Additionally, your general network load and other factors that could cause interference with your expected performance will from time to time wreck havoc with your stats, but for the most part we can make a good judgment call as to the type of farm setup that would be required in most cases.


Planning capacity is different for intranet/collaboration portals (that require a lot of read/write operations) from public facing sites built on SharePoint 2010 (that only require a lot of read operations).

There are a number of excellent blog posts and documentation from Microsoft that explains about capacity planing for SharePoint 2010 sites.

Here are a few of the best posts that I have come across:
There are a number of variables such as the number of documents, estimated growth in the future, average size of documents, number of concurrent users, number of requests per second and calculations involved in determining the number of WFEs required for an intranet / collaboration site that involves a lot of documents. Therefore as far as I know there is no hard and fast rule to recommend the number of WFEs for an intranet / collaboration site built on SharePoint 2010.

For a public facing site, the main driving factors are requests/views per second (RPS) and total number of concurrent users.

An experienced solutions architect has adviced me that a typical WFE with 4 Core CPUs and 16 GB RAM which is the recommended hardware for a public facing SharePoint 2010 site in a production environment can handle 200-300 concurrent users with 300-500 page views per sec for a public facing site. 

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