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SharePoint – Intermittent Performance Issue

A while ago I had a SharePoint site that seemed to load up and perform just fine. However, whenever a user hit the refresh button the page would load real slowly. It would almost be like the page stopped loading for a couple of seconds half way through the load process. So, at first I thought there was some sort of css or js file causing this issue. I started to debug this, but I came to find out it was a different css or js having the pause each time.

At that point I called Microsoft Support to find out what could possibly be going on. After hours on the phone, the Microsoft Support technician had an epiphany – he asked me what kind of Network Adapter my server had. I explained to him it was a BroadCom NetXtreme II.At that point he knew what was going on. There is a known issue with a Windows Server 2003 service pack 2 machines that uses either the BroadCom NetXtreme II or the Hewlett-Packard NC373i Multifunction Gigabit Server Adapter. The issue has to with a concept called TCP Chimney, which was introduced in Windows Server 2003 service pack 2. TCP Chimney is supposed to increase the performance on a server; however, these particular network adapters don’t play nice with it.

The solution to my issue was to disable TCP Chimney through this command line: Netsh int ip set chimney DISABLED

Then after it was disabled, we made a few registry changes to make sure we didn’t hurt the performance of the machine by disabling TCP Chimney:

1. Click Start, click Run, type Regedit, and then click OK.
2. Locate the following registry subkey: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Tcpip\Parameters
3. Double-click the EnableTCPChimney registry entry.
4. In the Edit DWORD Value dialog box, type 0 in the Value data box, and then click OK.
5. Double-click the EnableRSS registry entry.
6. In the Edit DWORD Value dialog box, type 0 in the Value data box, and then click OK.
7. Double-click the EnableTCPA registry entry.
8. In the Edit DWORD Value dialog box, type 0 in the Value data box, and then click OK.
9. Restart the server.

After doing these simple steps, my long, grueling, performance issue was finally solved.

Side Note: Since this problem has been fixed I sent out an email to my company explaining it. 2 other projects have had the same issue. Plus, recently, another project had this issue, but different symptoms. Basically, their SharePoint site seemed to work fine on their local network, but anytime it was hit from outside their local network, they would have these same performance issues. It turned out they had one of the two network adapters described above.

For more information on this issue please look at the Microsoft Support link for TCP Chimney issues: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/942861. In this article they describe the situation as connecting to a SQL Server with TCP/IP and getting a specific error message. Well, SharePoint is connecting to its SQL Server backend with TCP/IP, so the issue described in the article does fit the SharePoint model.

Categories: sharepoint
  1. Adam McKee
    July 16, 2008 at 6:47 pm

    Hey Greg,

    Thanks for sharing this post – I know exactly how frustrating these kinds of things can be.

    We have all of the symptoms that you have described here (weird slowness in some SharePoint 2007 sites, W2k3 SP2, dual BroadCom NetXtreme II’s) and did the registry fixes you proposed (including a reboot), and the weird slowness remains.

    One thing that I’m not entirely clear on is which servers in the farm needed this update – I assumed you mean the SharePoint web front end machines, but could you possibly need to apply this to the database server machines as well (seeing how this is a TCP issue related to SQL Server)?


  2. Greg Galipeau
    July 16, 2008 at 6:55 pm

    Adam, I would suggest doing this on all servers if you think you have the situation. The tcp chimney is not a vital piece to a server. So, turning it off is not a bad thing. I would say give it a shot on all servers.

  3. August 20, 2008 at 6:18 am

    Greg, thanks for a highlighting the performance issue with sharepoint.

    Many Sharepoint gurus now are asking developers to cache objects, sessions and especially page output in order to give their sharepoint performance the boost it requires.

    We have written an article around the subject and hopefully it’ll help inform various Sharepoint users about the types of caching available that can make their applications perform faster as well as making them more reliable and scalable.

    Team NCache

  4. February 19, 2009 at 6:11 pm

    Thanks for posting!

  1. August 8, 2008 at 6:59 pm
  2. December 4, 2008 at 2:11 am

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