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I have public site running on SharePoint 2007 MOSS. There is only one front-end and one DB server. Web applications don't use any of the functionality that Shared Services provide. I just use publishing template as CMS.

Can I delete shared services provider? Will deleting shared services provider improve server performance in any way?

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Deleting an SSP

If your question is whether you can delete an SSP that your MOSS farm is having, then the answer is Yes. But you will not be able to delete an SSP if thats the only one SSP that you have in your farm.

If you just have a single SSP in your farm, then that SSP would be the default SSP for the farm and you will not be able to delete a default SSP in the farm.

Improving Performance

Now, improving your performance, depends on what all features you are accessing from the SSP, basically Search and crawl in the Farm. Even InfoPath services and User Profiles are dependent on SSP. Performance will be improved if your site does not have search functionality and crawling, because this is what loads data into the tempdb.

Conclusion

So, the fact is that you need to have atleast one SSP by default in the farm, even though all features like Search and Crawling is not used. And you should be thinking of other options like improving RAM or DB space, rather than just deleting SSPs.

You can start with reading blogs like this for performance improvements - http://blogs.msdn.com/b/sanjaynarang/archive/2009/04/18/sharepoint-performance-stress-load-testing.aspx

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The SSP is a WebApp like others too, and it usually has its own AppPool which will run as a new instance of the W3WP process. That process needs CPU but first of all RAM.

If you will see a performance boost by deleting the SSP demands on the available (or unavailable) resources of your server. However, I would never delete the SSP for performance purposes -add RAM or additional servers to your farm if you are low on resources.

Further, you should test those changes in your test farm to verify that there are no drawbacks when deleting the SSP.

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