Check Your BLOB Cache Lately?

March 22, 2012

It’s 9 a.m. Do you know what your BLOB cache is doing?

SharePoint users everywhere are discovering there’s a little more to using the software’s binary large object (BLOB) cache than to just set it and forget it, according to a recent post on the SharePoint Interface blog site.

Using SharePoint’s BLOB cache without altering a few important attributes from their out-of-the-box values will lessen the strain on your SQL servers and speed up a site’s performance by storing large objects like images, video and CSS in a system’s Web front ends.

But just using the SharePoint BLOB cache without a little tweaking can wind up sending a Web publication’s audience different content than expected, warns SharePoint blogger Sean McDonough.

“The SharePoint BLOB Cache is a powerful mechanism to improve farm performance and scalability, but it shouldn’t be turned on without some forethought and a couple of changes to the default BLOB cache element attribute values,” McDonough writes in his post Do You Know What’s Going to Happen When You Enable the SharePoint BLOB Cache?.

Specifically, the author cautions about using the default max age limit for a specific object on a given page – like an image, for example. According to McDonough, in allowing SharePoint’s BLOB cache attribute defaults to stand, the image intended to remain indefinitely on a page may only last 24 hours.

Other attributes to consider modifying to a specific environment include allowing for Web applications used in multiple zones by setting specific attributes appropriate for each (an internal and a public zone, for example) and changing path expressions to curtail what files call the BLOB cache home.

Obviously, each environment has different needs and resources to deal with them. Hiring an outside system architecture consultant like Search Technologies is a good move.

So whether it’s an online product catalog at hand or a Website dedicated to traveling the world on a budget, using SharePoint’s BLOB cache feature can really speed things up but think before just firing it up right out of the box.

Jonathan Tressler, March 22, 2012

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