Performance Tuning

Azure Storage Persistence and Transport are network IO intensive. Every operation performed against the storage implies one or more network hops, most of which are small HTTP requests to a single IP address (of the storage cluster). By default the .NET framework has been configured to be very restrictive when it comes to this kind of communication.

Network Optimizations

The performance can be improved by overriding the settings exposed by the ServicePointManager class:

Settings changes must be applied before the application makes any outbound connection, ideally very early in the application's startup routine.

Default Connection Limit

ServicePointManager.DefaultConnectionLimit = 100;

The .NET Framework is configured to only allow 2 simultaneous connections to the same resource by default. A higher connection limit allows more parallel requests and therefore results in a higher network throughput. Setting the connection limit too high bypasses the built in connection reuse mechanism which may result in a sub-optimal resource usage.

The optimal value depends on the physical properties of the host machine and the endpoint's expected workload. The ideal number is lower than the average amount of parallel storage operations. It is recommended to start with a value of 10 and adjusting the value based on the observed performance impact.

Disable Nagle's algorithm

ServicePointManager.UseNagleAlgorithm = false;

Nagle's algorithm is a performance optimization for TCP/IP based networks but it has a negative impact on performance of requests when using Azure Storage services. See Microsoft's blog post Nagle’s Algorithm is Not Friendly towards Small Requests.

Disable Expect100Continue

ServicePointManager.Expect100Continue = false;

Setting the Expect100Continue property to false configures the client to not wait for a 100-Continue response from the server before transmitting data. Waiting for 100-Continue is an optimization to avoid sending larger payloads when the server rejects the request. That optimization isn't necessary for Azure Storage operations and disabling it may result in faster requests.

Azure Storage Performance Checklist

Refer to Microsoft's Azure Storage Performance Checklist for more performance tips and design guidelines to optimize Azure Storage performance.

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