SharePoint Online Performance and Request Throttling


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SharePoint Online Performance and Resource Throttling


Gimmal has identified specific performance issues in some customer O365 tenants and resource throttling in SharePoint Online in specific scenarios.  Gimmal has continued focused analysis with Microsoft to identify common performance and throttling scenarios with O365, to provide strategies to mitigate performance issues and to enhance the performance of Gimmal software deployed in 0365 and on premise.

Gimmal is providing the following information on diagnosis and analysis of performance issues and throttling with SharePoint Online to assist our customers with performance tuning to support Gimmal applications in the O365 environment.

SharePoint Online Performance

Gimmal has identified periods of slow page loads with uncustomized SharePoint pages as well as customized pages in some customer O365 tenants.  Uncustomized pages such as SharePoint team site pages or the OneDrive for Business homepage have loaded slowly from customer sites, and SharePoint Health Scores in the ranges from 5  to 8 have been noted.  The two most useful values for diagnosing performance issues are SPRequestDuration and X-SharePointHealthScore.


This is the amount of time that the request took on the server to be processed. A baseline should be established prior to any customizations to benchmark performance by measuring the SPRequestDuration for multiple uncustomized pages. The slowest 1% of uncustomized SharePoint Online pages take more than 5,000 milliseconds to load, with an SPRequestDuration for most uncustomized pages less than 2000 milliseconds.      


This indicates the utilization of the server, or CPU, on which your SharePoint instance runs. This number ranges from 0 to 10 where 0 indicates the server is idle and 10 indicates the server is very busy. A Health Score that is consistently 9 or 10 might indicate an ongoing performance issue with the server. Any other number indicates that server is operating within the expected range.

What should customers do if baseline SharePoint Online performance exceeds the expected page load times ?

If the baseline exceeds the expected page load times, Gimmal Services and Microsoft Support can be engaged to assist with analysis of the performance issues.  SPRequestDuration times exceeding 5000 milliseconds for page requests to uncustomized SharePoint Online pages may reflect issues with LAN/WAN connectivity, latency, client browser conflicts or delays or service issues.

Resource Throttling in SharePoint Online

SharePoint Online uses throttling to maintain optimal performance and reliability of the SharePoint Online service. Throttling limits the number of user actions or concurrent calls (by script or code) to prevent overuse of resources.  When a user exceeds usage limits, SharePoint Online throttles any further requests from that user account for a short period. All user actions are throttled while the throttle is in effect.

  • For requests that a user performs directly in the browser, SharePoint Online redirects you to the throttling information page, and the requests fail.
  • For all other requests, including CSOM or REST calls, SharePoint Online returns HTTP status code 429 ("Too many requests"), and the requests fail.  If per user request throttling occurs, the HTTP status code 429 ("Too many requests") may be logged in the Gimmal app log. 

Microsoft has relayed that the performance metrics that initiates per user resource throttling in O365 were modified in February 2018, reducing the frequency of per user resource throttling across all regions and O365 plans.  Gimmal is working with the O365 platform team and our customers to further assess the impact of these changes.

What should customers do if resource throttling occurs in SharePoint Online ?

SharePoint Online throttling does not implement a specific throttling limit for all requests, instead per user resources usage and SharePoint Online performance are continually monitored to set throttling limits.   High resource utilization in SharePoint Online will impact the throttling limit, with a high volume of user requests more likely to be throttled during periods of high resource utilization.

  • Review processes that may initiate a high volume of requests to SharePoint Online such as jobs scheduled with the Gimmal Job Scheduler.  Avoid scheduling multiple concurrent jobs or running multiple processes to manage the volume of requests in a period.
  • Execute processes that may initiate a high volume of requests to SharePoint Online during periods when SharePoint Online resource utilization is nominal.  As O365 tenants are managed in regions, executing these processes during off business hours in these regions will reduce resource throttling.



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