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I'm surprised that I can't find any info about this, but I'm not a Windows admin and just a novice EC2 user. I have a client who wants to stand up a Sharepoint server on EC2 for internal use. The team is small (10-20) folks and traffic will be light. Mostly, the client is looking for one place to store documents (and revisions of documents) while making access easy for authenticated users anywhere in the world. They've settled on Sharepoint and have other EC2 instances so that seems like the natural fit, but I'm trying to figure out what to recommend for them.

I'm currently thinking about a Medium instance. I'm afraid to go smaller because I think Windows would need a fair amount of memory just to run, but I'm very open to suggestions. Any advice would be much appreciated. I expect that the storage itself would happen in an EBS mount, but again, suggestions welcome.

Thanks for your input.

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anecdotally, all I can say is that I had to upgrade to a Medium instance just because of SQL on a very small (< 5 concurrent users) basic CRUD/forms-based Web app. And they still complain its slower than the old 6-year old Windows 2003 Standard/single Xeon/2GB RAM box it was on. – gravyface Oct 15 '12 at 15:54
Eeks. That makes me a little worried that a medium instance + sharepoint + sql server + iis would be too small. – Rob Wilkerson Oct 15 '12 at 15:58
@RobWilkerson Per the EC2 docs: "One EC2 Compute Unit provides the equivalent CPU capacity of a 1.0-1.2 GHz 2007 Opteron or 2007 Xeon processor. This is also the equivalent to an early-2006 1.7 GHz Xeon processor referenced in our original documentation." – ceejayoz Oct 15 '12 at 15:59
@ceejayoz I think its the disk I/O that kills it. Even tried a RAID 0 configuration across two EBS volumes (and a separate EBS volume for logs, data, and system), performance improvements were negligible. – gravyface Oct 15 '12 at 16:03

If you don't mind some downtime, you can start off with a small instance that is EBS backed get things up and running and see how performance is. If you need more take a snapshot of the instance store and then stop the current instance and then spin up a larger instance type using the snapshot from the small instance you took.

You can keep doing this as long as your instance is EBS backed. That way you can grow the instance with the company growth/use of the server.

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Thanks, Mike. What about using S3 in lieu of EBS? Any reason to consider something like that? Any reason not to consider it? – Rob Wilkerson Oct 15 '12 at 15:46
If you mean s3 as a filesystem.. no it's incredibly slow to list out buckets.. – Mike Oct 15 '12 at 15:53

Because of your lack of Windows administrative expertise (and that this is for a client, which means you likely don't want/have the resources to babysit this), I'd recommend looking into a dedicated Sharepoint hosting provider like Microsoft 365's hosted Sharepoint or possibly Azure.

At a per-user pricing model and the infrastructure/maintenance completely abstracted from you, a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution is probably a better fit.

As I mentioned in my comment, getting it "right" for a very small .NET/SQL app took alot of trial and error and they still complain about performance, even with a $180 USD month Medium instance that we're hesitant to convert to a Reserved instance because the performance is so mediocre. The setup was slightly better with two instances (one for SQL, one for IIS/.NET), but not worth the additional cost. We will likely bring it back in-house because at $180 month, we could lease a decent server over three years and have better performance.

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