SharePoint startup time very slow

I created a SharePoint Server installation to look after project documentation. All was well and I uploaded all of the specifications, design documents, project plans etc. The following day, when I wanted to show the site to someone important, it did not work! I refreshed the browser several times thinking (correctly) that the application pool would have recycled overnight and there would be a delay as it re-built and re-loaded but this took forever. Several minutes later it did spring in to life but by that time, the business-minded (non-technical) client had already lost interest and walked away.

I was furious – SharePoint had made me look bad and I don’t like looking bad!

Perhaps I should have checked this just before the meeting but to be honest the meeting was not planned at that time. I had been put on the spot and was looking for something to impress. What annoyed me more is that by recycling the application pool myself, I as able to repeat the error many times over. This must be a bug I thought so I went to ask Uncle Google.

Why so slow?

The answer, and how David Klein found it, is contained in the following blog post link but I shall quickly explain the bit that matters.

Basically its due to a bit of “guilty til proven innocent” attitude from Microsoft.

Microsoft check for revoked certificates every time the application pool is recycled and to do this the site references a couple of URL’s at crl.microsoft.com

In my case, a network block was preventing this so the check takes a very long time before it times out, following which, the application loads.

David’s wonderful blog post pointed out the issue and suggested that if I add the crl.microsoft.com address to the hosts file and point it locally (127.0.0.1) then this will result in an immediate revoked certificate lookup failure and massively reduce startup time.

This type of lookup redirection hack is often used to install illegal software by preventing it from registering etc. (a lot of software calls home during the install). In this case Microsoft decided to check much more often.

There may be implications to applying this workaround in some cases, such as notification of updates etc. but if it fixes the startup time then it might be worth it.

I think it’s a brilliant workaround but on account of other features that might exist now or in the future at crl.microsoft.com it may be better to schedule the recycle for out of hours time and force an immediate refresh when nobody is looking (to reload the pool)
What happened to innocent until proven guilty?
It would appear that software companies these days reverse this and everyone pays the price.

So did it have the desired effect? You bet!

Before : 2 minutes
After : 20 seconds

Now that was a good tip. Thanks David.

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About davidbridge

I run David Bridge Technology Limited and specialise in Database design and development including administration and web application development using .net
This entry was posted in Developer stuff, Operating Systems, Other stuff and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to SharePoint startup time very slow

  1. youtube.com says:

    Hi there! Do you know if they make any plugins to safeguard against hackers?
    I’m kinda paranoid about losing everything I’ve worked hard
    on. Any recommendations?

    • davidbridge says:

      Sorry, I am not an expert in SharePoint security from hacking.

      Best basic defence is to make sure you use the built-in security of SharePoint and keep Windows Server fully patched and behind a firewall.

      Dave

  2. Steve says:

    Hi David,

    This is the same bug that affects BIDS as well when access is blocked to the internet – has been in place since SQL 2005 came out. It is also surprising for SharePoint to suffer as very few places (if any!) should have their database/application servers connecting directly to the internet!!! if they are I would imagine that this issue would more than likely be the least of their problems. I always add this to the host file to any servers that I build out of habit now days.

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