Due to the interest in SharePoint 2010 at some point you may be asked to demo features, code, etc. Making sure your virtual server image is reliable and responsive is key to any great demonstration. The last thing you want to do is have to wait for web sites and features to load into memory, etc. while in front of a crowd.
One of the techniques I use to ensure acceptable performance and eliminate memory problems is resetting IIS to clean out all memory pools on my web server. After the reset I run a warm up script to instantiate my web applications and created required SP objects in memory on the web server. You can download a great little tool called SPWakeup to “warm up” your SharePoint sites from CodePlex. The tool was created by Andrew Kennel (not Andrew Connell) and inspired by an original post by Joel Oleson about using warm up scripts for SharePoint.
I like to open the Windows Task Manager in my host machine and view the Performance tab during the process. You will see massive amounts of memory become free after the IISRESET and you will observe “clean” memory being consumed as the sites are warmed.
Figure 1 – Task Manager
To reset IIS:
1) Click Start, Run and type IISREST
2) Press Enter
3) After the IISRESET execute SPWakeup.exe and test your sites.
Figure 2 – Output from SPwakeup.exe
I prefer to create a batch file on my desktop with the command to reset IIS and execute SPWakeup allowing me to execute the process quickly with confidence.
Figure 3 – Sample Batch File
After this memory recycle is complete you can count on fresh IIS memory pools and responsive SharePoint sites. I like to recycle and then “warm up” my memory pools during my introduction. The procedure is also useful if during your presentation you get surprised with unexpected results or errors. By recycling memory you may be able to resolve the issue quickly and continue the presentation.
Try it out, practice ahead of time. I promise you won’t be disappointed. Happy Demos!