SharePoint Notes

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System Center Capacity Planner – now with support for MOSS/WSS

Posted by Christian Dam on January 4, 2008


As you may already have heard, SCCP has been expanded with support for MOSS and WSS. This is really exiting as it provides a great, intuative and simple of try out you MOSS planning efforts in a simulated environment – just as it has been the case with Exchange for som time now.
The SCCP tool it selv is released as a RC and the MOSS/WSS models in public beta.
As a small example, I’d analyze a scenario where we deploy a single intranet farm for a company with 2170 employees with a HQ and three branch offices.
The employees are located as follows:
  • HQ: 2000
  • Århus: 100
  • Odense: 50
  • Sønderborg: 20

Step 1: Select the Capacity Model

Select Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 (Beta Model) and Create a new Capacity Model

Step 2: Create the Farm

Select Add Sharepoint (MOSS) Farm and enter this information:

  • Farm Name: HQ
  • Local Client Count: 2000
  • SharePoint Deployment: Intranet
  • Usage Profile: Heavy Collaboration

Click OK and Next

Step 3: Add branch offices

Select Add Branch Office Profile and create the three branch offices:

Name
Local Client Count
Usage Profile
Århus
100
Heavy Collaboration
Odense
50
Average Collaboration
Sønderborg
20
Light Collaboration

Continue with Odense and Sønderborg. Click OK and Next when finished.

Step 4: Network Information

Select Specify Connectivity for each Branch Office and enter the information below and click Next.

Yeah, I know the bandwich is not enough, but we’ll correct that later 🙂

Step 5: Select Hardware

Select appropriate CPU and disk configurations and click Next

Step 6: Application settings

Select the High Availability and SQL Server Storage settings specified below and clik Next

Step 7: Model Summary

Based on out initial input, the Capacity Planner have now calculated what an optimal configuration might look like, including MOSS servers, roles and disk layout.

Click Finish

Step 8: Simulations!

Tada! We have now entered our initial questimate into the model and we are now ready to put it to the test! Select the Run simulation option to start the simulation

The simulation appears to have identified a couple of issues:

  1. The response times are slow, especially from the Sønderborg office
  2. The storage space utilization is high
  3. The CPU utilization is high (although not directly identified by the model)

Improvement 1: Storage space utilization

To fix the storage space issue, select Hardware Editor and then Device configurations. Choose the Disk Array view and navigate to the HQ\SAN Array

Change the Disk Count from 20 to 24 for both Volume 2 and Volume 4. Finally Save Hardware Library (Ctrl + L).

Rerun the simulation from the Simulation Results page to verify the effect of the changes.

The storage space issue has been resolved.

Improvement 2: CPU utilization

To address the CPU utilization, some bigger CPU’s are assigned to the SQL Servers and the Web Front Ends. This should also have a positive impact on the response times.

Hardware changes are done from the Site Topology page in the Model Editor. Right-click on SQL Server Cluster (Primary) and select Edit server hardware configuration.

From the Apply New Configuration drop-down box, select the 4 x 3.00 GHx Xeon-configuration and click OK. Ignore the excessive use of local disk in this configuration. Repeat this step for SQL Server Cluster (Failover).

Use the same method to add additional CPUs to the two Web Front Ends.

Finally, rerun the similation to verify the effect.

As expected it did wonders for the CPU utilization, but it had only a minor effect on the slow responce times. Our last improvement should take care of that.

Improvement 3: Slow response times

Since we just beef’ed up the SQL and web Front end servers, the slow responce times are probably due to slow network links. No big surprise, but sometimes it is easier to upgrade hardware than to upgrade physical network links.

To upgrade the network links, navigate to the Global Topology page in the Model Editor. Right-click on the HQ – Sønderborg link and select Edit connection details.

In the Connection Speed section, upgrade both Uplink and Downlink speed to 45 Mbps (T3) and click OK.

Repeat for the HQ – Odense and HQ – Århus links. The rerun the simulation to see the results

Great news! All issues are resolved and we should have a working configuration. Navigate to the Model Summary page in the Model Editor to see the final configuration.

Conclusion:

The SCCP looks very promising and will be a great tool in performance and capacity estimates. The way it is possible to change the model is fantastic and it offers much much more than we have exploided here. For example it is also possible to place servers in the branch offices to enhance peformance even more.

One big problem, I think, is that the hardware requirements and networks link speed in branch office scenarios seems to be way to high to reach the defined thresholds for a healthy system … or is it just the a problem with the thresholds?

Oh, well – the MOSS/WSS models are still only in beta and they may be tuned a bit going towards RC and RTM

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3 Responses to “System Center Capacity Planner – now with support for MOSS/WSS”

  1. waqas said

    Hey Man

    I like your post.I am wondering if you have that tool with you because it was discontinued by Microsoft. I had this tool but i lost it.

    i really appreciated.

    thanks
    waqas

  2. Bradley Weller said

    Hello,
    I too would like a copy as it is a prerequisite to installing the Sharepoint planning tool. Please send it to my email if available. Thanks.

    Bradley
    bweller@gcfd.org

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