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On one of my SharePoint servers (that has 24 CPU cores and 134 GB of RAM) the worker process for our main SharePoint application will occassionally reach 98% - 100% CPU utilization and bring the whole farm to a crawl. This generally starts happening during full search crawls.

Until I actually figure out what is causing the resource utilization, I wanted your thoughts on this temporary work around:

Creating a process that monitors the CPU utilization of the IIS worker processes. If one sustains a CPU utilization of 90% or more for more than a minute, recycle the application pool for that process automatically.

Does anyone see any issues with doing that?

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2 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Recycling the application pool can help, but it has a pretty big impact on the end users. I tried doing this in one environment years ago where there just weren't sufficient resources.

It sounds like you have a pretty large server, but what is the general layout of the farm? Would it be possible to isolate a set web front end not behind the load balancer that can be used as a dedicated box for crawling?

An alternative would be to enable crawler impact rules that slow down the number of concurrent requests. This extends the search crawl length, but decreases the impact on the servers substantially.

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We currently have two servers with the same specs. We will be adding three lesser web front ends here soon (hopefully if I can get the license cost approved). I will try the crawler impact rules. –  John Chapman Sep 16 '11 at 17:35
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In our 2007 environment, we used to see search crawls impact performance of the farm at times. To ease the resource load, I set the indexer performance of the query and index servers to reduced and it had a noticible impact on the farm performance. Does FAST have something like that?

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FAST can be configured as to how many processes it uses, however that applies globally, not just to a specific SharePoint site. –  John Chapman Sep 16 '11 at 17:39
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