Performance Considerations - K2 Server Hardware and Software

  • 16 February 2021
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Performance Considerations - K2 Server Hardware and Software


K2 blackpearl 4.7
K2 smartforms 4.7
This article has been archived, and/or refers to legacy products, components or features. The content in this article is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated. Archived content is provided for reference purposes only. This content does not infer that the product, component or feature is supported, or that the product, component or feature will continue to function as described herein.



This article provides guidance for those in technical roles who need to troubleshoot and improve K2 performance. Knowledge of the K2 platform, authentication, and SharePoint is required.

K2 allows for different installation configurations, enabling flexibility in hardware and software configurations that best meet your needs and environmental realities. Use this article to troubleshoot performance issues to determine your optimal hardware and software configuration.

Also see the other articles in this series:




Use the following questions and answers to learn more about hardware and software performance issues and how to address them:

Q – How do I know if I have enough bandwidth available?

A - Your network administrator can give you an indication of your internal network bandwidth. Typically you’ll have either a 10-megabit or 100-megabit connection speed. 1-gigabit connection speed is sometimes available but not common.

If there is a lot of network traffic, bandwidth issues may occur. Your network administrator can confirm if network congestion occurs and if this affects K2 performance.

To verify if bandwidth contributes to slow performance, check if there is a difference when there is less overall network traffic. Less traffic can mean fewer people are at the office and actively using the network.

If the network is not congested, the network card on the server that is running K2 can be faulty or incorrectly configured.

If you believe your network and your Internet connection have enough bandwidth, you may also try testing various internal and external sides for speed (aka latency, the time it takes a packet to do a roundtrip between your server and another server). Ping various servers and keep a log of these results so that when issues occur, you can reference the various ping speeds that you’ve seen in the past and compare them to what you’re seeing during issues that may be related to a higher latency. Use, ping.exe from the command prompt, or any other tool that reports your ping speed, which is measured in milliseconds.


There is a difference between Internet bandwidth and internal network bandwidth. Generally, limited Internet bandwidth only affects K2 performance if some of the K2 services you use require Internet. Check your Internet bandwidth with your Internet Service Provider (ISP).
Q – If my K2 installation spreads across different physical servers, will this cause a performance impact?

A - Spreading the K2 installation across different servers is a distributed install. This type of installation can have a negative impact on performance if not set up correctly. Network load balancing techniques (spreading the workload across servers) affects performance if these techniques are not effectively configured. Network communication delays can cause performance issues.

Use the following resources and the Additional Resources to ensure your environment is set up efficiently:

Q – Can any other demands on the hardware or server impact processing capacity?

A – Yes. Other applications starting up at the same time can have a negative impact on performance. Check the CPU, memory, and network usage at different times on the server, especially at startup. If there are constraints on any of these resources, you may want to start those up at a later stage.  

Additional Resources

Consider the following resources to further your learning and investigations:



Recommendation Resources What you will find
Ensure your environment meets the minimum hardware, software and browser requirements.
  • Hardware and software requirements and prerequisites per K2 component.
  • Hardware and software requirements for SharePoint 2013
Understand the K2 architecture. Architectural Overview of K2 blackpearl Overview of the K2 blackpearl Architecture.
Look at tips to improve performance. Improving Performance Considerations with regard to planning, installation and designing with K2 that can help to improve the performance of your environment.
Decide if a multi-tenant/multi-instance landscape is the solution for your environment. Planning for multi-tenancy with K2 Plan the K2 platform for environments that have large numbers of solutions that service disparate user bases and/or have different operational and support needs.
Harden your platform against security threads. Platform hardening Looks at some threat models to consider how to strengthen K2 Host Server and its related sites and services.
Perform capacity planning/management of K2 software. K2 performance and capacity planning Overview of capacity planning and management of K2 software. The document covers:
  • Capacity Planning/Management Overview
  • Base Hardware Considerations
  • Database Sizing Estimation
  • Performance Planning
  • Proactive Capacity Management



Recommendation Resources What you will find
Check the K2 product compatibility, integration and support. Product Compatibility, Integration and
Use this matrix to understand release cycles and compatibility across versions and external products.



Recommendation Resources What you will find
Customize configuration settings to improve performance. K2 smartforms developer reference performance Performance items available in the K2 smartforms web.config file.
K2 Server Identity Cache Performance Configuration settings to optimize Identity cache performance for the K2 Server.
K2 Server Thread Pool settings Explains how to customize thread attributes. You may want to change the default settings to improve performance if there are a great number of IPC items.
Install the latest version to benefit from recent enhancements. Removing the dynamic flag from a dynamic Role sets the refresh interval to zero and will have a K2Server performance impact Explains the Dynamic Role refresh rate enhancement. 



Recommendation Resources What you will find
Use performance testing guidelines to estimate performance of your environment. K2 blackpearl Performance Testing Tests and guidance to help estimate performance in your environment. Use the estimates to check the health of the K2 platform.
Search for troubleshooting tips. Troubleshooting K2 blackpearl performance issues Troubleshooting issues and workarounds for K2 performance.



See the following resources for strategies on monitoring your environment, potential K2 performance and scalability, and web debugger tools. Some of these tools are used in the Considerations section.

Recommendation Resources What you will find
Monitor performance on your environment. Monitoring the K2 blackpearl Environment
K2 Performance Test Results by Version
Overview of the recommended performance monitoring options for K2 blackpearl environments, and useful counters and their descriptions.
Debug your web application to troubleshoot issues. Fiddler Web Debugger Tool A tool that helps you debug web applications. If you see the error “The proxy server isn’t responding”, see the following solution: Known issue with Fiddler
Chrome Developer Tools A set of web authoring and debugging tools built into Google Chrome.
Manually debugging forms How to manually debug forms.


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