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In Depth Information
Capacity Planning
Mitigation
Eventually, the Excel Services capacity planning results will start to come into focus and the capacity
limitations for the system will become evident. Scaling is one available option to alleviate capacity
bottlenecks. A second option is to ensure that the system is optimally configured for the load being applied.
Adding Resources
The primary bottleneck specific to Excel Services is the ECS process size or CPU utilization on either the
WFE or the application server. A few external components could possibly be limiting as well, and you can
fix some of those by adjusting the configurable settings.
High CPU utilization on the WFE is a signal that additional WFE servers may be needed in the farm. For
example, you may encounter high CPU utilization on the WFE because of a large number of concurrent
users, expensive EWA-rendering operations, or other SharePoint activity. You can add WFE servers to
scale out, thereby increasing the capacity of the WFE servers. Monitor the SQL server hosting the
configuration and content database to ensure that it is capable of supporting the requests being generated by
the WFE servers.
The ECS may encounter high CPU utilization when performing calculation operations or when initially
loading workbooks. A high volume of concurrent user activity can also contribute to high CPU usage.
You can add ECS application servers to scale out the farm and alleviate both CPU and memory
limitations. You can also increase available memory on an ECS application server to address ECS process size
limitations.
It is important to note that the ECS load-balancing scheme may contribute to higher CPU and memory
utilization on one ECS, while others in the farm appear to be underutilized. The Workbook URL
loadbalancing scheme can lead to this condition. The Workbook URL load-balancing scheme uses a hash
based upon the workbook URL to determine which ECS will service the request. The scheme does not
factor in the existing load on the ECS, so load may not be balanced across all available ECS servers.
Configuration
There are two types of configuration options: the Excel Services provided configuration settings, and
the configuration settings for components on which Excel Services is dependent. The available Excel
Services configuration settings are discussed in Chapter 7, and the various configuration settings that
could affect capacity are discussed throughout this chapter. The following sections describe
configuration settings that are external to Excel Services, but can provide a positive impact on capacity under
some circumstances.
Application Pools
Each application pool has a few properties that you can use to maintain a healthy environment. The
application pool associated with the ECS is SharedServices1. You can configure it in a few different ways to
control the size of the ECS process.
The setting for recycling worker processes lets you specify a time when the application pool for the ECS
will be recycled. This releases all memory, and affects system performance because all of the ECS-cached
objects have been released and the ECS is essentially starting from a clean state.
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