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Today I was preparing a new production server farm for SharePoint 2010 when I encountered this fact that there are not many in depth articles/whitepapers on the net that deals explicitly with Excel Services Architecture and How to scale it for different SharePoint topologies.

I have seen that Excel Service Application takes up loads of RAM (physical memory) of the server running Excel Calculation Services.

My current farm server memory layout is
Central Admin - 8GB RAM , Excel Services Stopped
WFE - 8GB RAM , Excel Services Started
DB + WFE - 16GB RAM , Excel Services Started

My question is - How do I verify that when I am opening excel files in the browser inside a site collection , the request is getting load balanced and there is a even distribution of memory allocation after I have started the excel services across both the WFE.

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From http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms582023.aspx

In multiple-server configurations, Excel Services load-balances requests across multiple Excel Calculation Services occurrences in a farm configuration. If your installation includes multiple application servers, Excel Services will balance the load in an attempt to help ensure that no single application server is overloaded by requests

Trust Microsoft! :-)

I haven't tried this, but I would imagine you can use the ULS logs to verify traffic. Crank up logging to Verbose and then check out the files on the two Excel servers. You should see activity on one vs the other.

Another method would be to use Fiddler, as Excel Services uses web services from the web server to the excel server.

HTH

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Thanks David for the explanation. It was helpful after going through the msdn article. However, personally I think it still deserves a more detailed description on how things "really" work with excel services. I am assuming excel web access makes up most of the memory as it maintains the rendered html.I was wondering if there is a way one can figure out the number of open excel sessions in a farm ? –  Arko D Mar 22 '12 at 19:23
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