SQL Centre of Excellence

A while back we were sizing some storage to take a monster of a SharePoint instance, and it’s fairly common knowledge that SharePoint can eat some resources. But the question is, how much does it actually need? How do you size the storage appropriately? Do you just start it up and run away screaming?

Well, you can now reap the benefits of me having too much time on my hands at the time, and use the ACME SharePoint IO Calculator available here. This will help you calculate your IO requirements for the SQL Server Databases (Not the app tier) in a SharePoint deployment. These numbers are all based on the official Microsoft Whitepapers, and links to the resources are included in the tool.

Great! How do I use it?


Glad you asked! There are 2 main sections. The first is:


The explanations in the column are quite straight forward, depending on the level of performance you want, fill in the relevant number. In the example I’m going for completely optimal performance, but you may want to decrease this if you’ll have a whole pile of archive data which is rarely accessed.

The Second part is:


Quite simply you fill in the # of databases and Database Size GB fields. Database size should be the estimated max size of the content database. Last time I checked it was recommended to go no larger than 200GB, but your SharePoint team should be able to give you indications as to how they will be managing that. The Estimated Overall I/O’s field will update itself based on your numbers.

Another note, the Crawl and Property databases are fixed at that size unless otherwise stated by the SharePoint team, so it’s usually just the content databases that you need to focus on.

Total Data IOPs is the number you need to give to your storage guys in order to achieve maximum happiness.


Is it accurate?


So far, so good. It’s all based on MS best practices, but seeking them out and condensing them was a solid weeks work. However in sizing a 50TB SharePoint deployment, this little spread sheet didn’t lead us astray.

Let me know if you have any feedback or questions on this, but it’s proved useful internally when working on SharePoint deployments, so hopefully someone else can get some use out of it too!

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