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We have Project Server 2013 installed on-premise. About 140K projects are created there. The project center page loads very slow (up to 20 min) We don't meet any errors anywhere.

Do you know any thresholds in Project Servers 2013 that lead to such performance degradation? May be somebody has faced the same situation and we would be very thankful you for sharing your experience of how to move forward.

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What's the size of your farm ? is it small / medium or large ? if the farm size is large and the number of project exceeded than 5000 project thence, you will face a performance issue based on this article from Microsoft How datasets affect performance and capacity in Project Server 2013

In this case, you have to

  • scale up and scale out your farm
  • archive all old/closed projects and modify your views to filter and negelcte the old projects.
  • try to design SSRS reports to retrieve your project instead of using Project Center.
  • I've marked your answer as a solution as your description of the situation is very close to what I've got so far. So when somebody is planning to deploy PS in an organization these limitations should be taken into account as it will result in addition work to do (archiving, Project Center redesigning...) MS Premier support engeener that investigated the performance issue with Project Center told us that in any way the all projects are requested from the DB and then are processed in Application tier. That leads to sql table blocking so the other users have to wait till it gets unblocked. – Alexey Grachev Jul 13 '16 at 11:39
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Unfortuantely there is (to my knowledge) no boundry for the number of projects a Project Server 2013 can host. The only mentioned limits are:

  • End of project time: Date: 12/31/2149
  • Deliverables per project plan: 1,500 deliverables
  • Number of fields in a view: 256 (A user cannot have more than 256 fields added to a view that they have defined in Project Web App.)
  • Number of clauses in a filter for a view: 50 (A user cannot add a filter to a view that has more than 50 clauses in it.)

Reference: Software boundaries and limits for SharePoint 2013 (Project Server)

But having as many as 140'000 project seems to be too many. Ordinary List view thresholds are defaulted to 5'000 for users and 20'000 for admins.

Recommendations

I would advice you to monitor the SQL Server performance. Do you have long running transactions which causes other queries to halt? How do the SQL Server memory and CPU doing? Are continuously above 90% on memory, a test would be to add more memory to the SQL Server. Is the LOG disk almost full? is another cause of bad performance which I've encountered more than once.

Microsoft recommend in the article Scaled-up and scaled-out topologies in Project Server 2013 two different approaches:

To provide for more data load

  • To provide for more data load, add capacity to the database server by increasing the capacity of that single server.
  • Separate the Project Database from the SharePoint Databases by moving the Project database onto its own dedicated database server.

Unfortunately, you can't implement SQL replication...

Project Server 2013 does not support scaling out the Database component through SQL replication. While it is possible to perform SQL mirroring on a Project SQL Server for the purposes of backing up data, Project Server 2013 is unable to take advantage of SQL replication to reduce read loads on the SQL Server.

At the very end Microsoft recommends the following:

How to spend money on scaling up and out:

As a general rule, in the early stages of scaling your Project Server deployment, you will want to invest primarily in purchasing additional memory. Most often, the subsequent areas you would want to invest in are disk spindles, and then network resources.

But I would start with monitoring the SQL Server. Usually you find your performance issue there.

  • Thank you for the answer. Currently we have the only issue with Project Center performance. We've desided to substitute it with our own page implemented with Excel services web part connected to the DB and it works well for us. PWA holds its data in MS SQL database so there wouldn't implications to the 5000 threshold in SP list views. – Alexey Grachev Jul 13 '16 at 11:28

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