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We have an installation of Sitecore 8.1 (rev 160519). We have a rather laborious process presently of uploading TDS update packages (generated by our build process) using the Sitecore update installation wizard.

There are typically over a thousand items that need to be uploaded per package (there are two packages, namely: template and content), and the whole process to upload a single update package typically takes anything from 30 to 40 minutes to complete.

I am now wondering if there is something that might not be correctly configured, or optimized (particularly in respect of the database) since this seems extremely slow?

UPDATE: I've tried uploading the same package on my local (development) installation of Sitecore, and it runs an order of magnitude more quickly than our environmental installation. The only difference is that the database server resides on the same host as the client (Sitecore), so no network round-trips. I'm having difficulty believing that that is the only reason for the vast difference in speed. Is there anything that I should be looking for in terms of configuration, either within Sitecore or in respect of the database?

  • Have you checked the logs on the instance you are trying to install to, to see if there is any errors that might be causing the issue. Typically mongo issues can cause horrible slow downs in the Sitecore client. – Dylan Young Nov 8 '17 at 13:34
  • @DylanYoung, yes I've been monitoring the Sitecore logs; nothing stands out as the cause. – Eric Smith Nov 8 '17 at 22:12
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Sitecore is "very chatty" when communicating with the database server and one of the main reasons I've seen for both slow Sitecore instances and package installation is network latency. There can be number of reasons for this, the 2 main ones I have seen:

  • Physical location of web server and database servers being separated, e.g. in different datacenters. For example, I've previously seen a Web Server created in Azure North Europe showing the same crippling symptoms with a database created in Azure West Europe (in our case it was created in the incorrect region accidentally)
  • Configuration issues of the server, such as an incorrectly set up SQL Server instance or even Network Interface Card issues.

You should measure the network latency and runs some tests to make sure that it is within the recommended bounds of Sitecore requirements. Follow the article about Testing Database Performance, download the DatabaseTest.aspx page and deploy it to your servers to ensure there are no network issues. This will give you a starting point to try and pinpoint the actual issue.

Note that the tool was designed for Sitecore 6.x-7.2 but it does still work on the 8.x versions.

Reducing Deployment Package Size

You can also speed up the package installation by reducing the amount of items which are being deployed. The simplest option to do this is to use the Delta Deploy features which were introduced in TDS 5.6 (although I would suggest you upgrade to the latest version, currently 5.7):

TDS Delta Deploy

Using this feature you can set a specific date to only include changes after, or using a rolling date feature (e.g. last 30 days - this was introduced in TDS 5.7). Personally, using this feature has reduced package installation from 10-15 mins down to less than 2 minutes, but solving any network latency issues is still important.

If you are going this route this I suggest reading this article by Sean Holmesby and this article by John Rappel about creating true delta deploy packages by using code diffs rather than relying solely on date (but this is a good, easy start to try and figure out what is going on).

  • have you faced any issues while using this Delta deployment functionality – Gabbar Nov 17 '17 at 20:50
  • @Gabbar No, we haven't faced any issues, but just be careful that if had a branch of code which was long running and did not get merged in for a long time, then the items may be outside the "date range" window if you're using the OOTB functionality. The linked articles resolve that particular issue though. – jammykam Nov 17 '17 at 23:37

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