Many organizations support employees working in multiple sites either within a region or around the world. Microsoft SharePoint Products and Technologies currently supports three different deployment configurations to accommodate geographically dispersed sites with Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services and Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003. The purpose of this paper is to:

  • Describe the three supported solutions.
  • Provide recommendations on which of these three solutions to deploy.
  • Help you estimate and calculate bandwidth targets to support your SharePoint Products and Technologies solution.
  • Provide guidance on configuring the SharePoint Products and Technologies implementation to optimize bandwidth utilization and the user experience.

A key variable in determining which of the supported deployment solutions to implement is the available network bandwidth between your sites. Therefore, this paper emphasizes the impact of the available bandwidth between sites on various elements of the SharePoint Products and Technologies solution. Specifically, this paper highlights the impact of bandwidth on:

  • The user experience.
  • The demands of crawling content across a wide area network (WAN).

The bandwidth calculators, statistics, and recommendations within this paper are based on test results produced in the Enterprise Engineering Center on the Microsoft corporate campus in Redmond. Microsoft customers are welcome to use this lab to extend this testing to your own deployment scenarios. For more information, see Enterprise Engineering Center Testing Recreates Enterprise Deployments or contact the Microsoft Enterprise Engineering Center directly at

Because bandwidth is not the only variable in determining which deployment solution to choose, this paper also provides recommendations based on several organizational scenarios:

  • Government solution supporting multiple independent agencies
  • Traveling workgroups (such as military units, cruise lines, or dispatched research teams)
  • Central site supporting many branch offices
  • Adoption of additional SharePoint solutions through mergers or acquisitions

Finally, this paper also captures the best practices learned by Microsoft in implementing SharePoint Products and Technologies across multiple geographic sites. Many of the recommended configuration settings and scripts are a result of ongoing optimization by the Microsoft IT teams responsible for implementing SharePoint Products and Technologies.

This paper does not attempt to address all of the variables that might impact a deployment of SharePoint Products and Technologies across multiple geographic sites. The Windows SharePoint Services and SharePoint Portal Server teams at Microsoft welcome your requests for additional content or testing related to this topic. Send feedback and requests to, or use the Was this information helpful buttons at the bottom of each topic in the Office Online version of this guide.

Recommended Knowledge

The material presented in this paper requires an understanding of SharePoint Products and Technologies, including the following:

  • SharePoint Portal Server features, including crawling content, search, My Sites, profiles, and alerts
  • Capacity Planning for SharePoint Products and Technologies
  • Administration of SharePoint Products and Technologies

For more information about these topics, see Additional Recommended Content.

Document Conventions

This paper uses terminology that can mean different things for different organizations. To ensure consistency for the reading audience, the following terms are defined.

Terms and Definitions
Term Definition
Central site The location that hosts the majority of corporate data and/or employee computers connected by using a local area network (LAN). Corporate servers at the central site are typically contained within a data center.
Regional site

A location that hosts a subset of corporate data and/or employee computers connected together by using a combination of LAN and WAN links. A regional site is connected to a central corporate site by using a WAN link.
For purposes of this paper, a regional site can be one of the following:

  • A site located in a different region or country
  • A site separated by insufficient network links (even if the site is within reasonable proximity to the central site)
  • A site physically separated from the central site but otherwise well connected (such as a government agency or branch office)
Local user A user that connects to a central site by using a LAN.
Regional user A user that works primarily at a regional site and connects to a central site by using a WAN.
LAN (Local Area Network) A short-distance network connection between computers. Typically a LAN connects computers within a single location with bandwidth of at least 10 megabits.
WAN (Wide Area Network) A long-distance network connection between computers. Typically a WAN connects computers across multiple geographic locations with a bandwidth of less than 45 megabits.
Data center Hosts corporate servers, data, and applications.

Other formats

This content is also available as adownloadable Microsoft Word document.

Applies to:
Deployment Center 2003, SPS Admin 2003