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How to enable IIS compression (on Windows 2003) for Controller 8.2 to give performance improvements



IIS compression is a Microsoft technique which is designed to reduce the network traffic between client and server, and therefore potentially speed up the transmission of data (and consume less bandwidth). It is not enabled by default. This technique can be applied to [most customer's environments, but performance results will vary depending on the customer's database, application server and client PC hardware (especially CPU), and the network bandwidth and latency between the client and the application server.


Below is a summary of the results from two 'real-life' customer environments:

  • Example #1 - desktop PC connected to application server (non-Citrix), located in same building (LAN)
    • Reports ran between 2% and 18% faster, after IIS compression was enabled
  • Example #2 - Remote (WAN) users connecting to application server (non-Citrix)
    • Opening the company list sped up from 74 seconds to 12 seconds
    • (This compares with 5 seconds for end-users running on the same LAN as the server).


This technique is based only for Windows 2003 servers.


  • This technique should only be used on a server that is dedicated for Controller-only use
    • It is possible that other non-Controller applications will be adversly affected by this technique, so do not implement this technique on a shared server
  • Ideally, you should perform a range of tests with IIS compression enabled and disabled, to 100% be sure that you benefit from using it
  • The application server must be multi-CPU, and the CPU's must not be over-utilised
    • (otherwise, the server will not have enough spare power to compress/decompress the network traffic efficiently, and could potentially slow the system)
  • The client PCs should also be fast (for example 2.4GHz+) to ensure that they can deflate the compressed traffic too
    • Again, it is possible that slow client PCs would experience worse performance if IIS compression is enabled

Resolving The Problem

Enable IIS compression by directly editing the metabase.


  • This technique is based only for Windows 2003 servers.
  • You should not implement the change by using the GUI directly
    • Instead, you must edit the metabase directly instead

  1. Obtain some downtime for the Controller system
  2. Logon to the Controller application server as an administrator
  3. Follow the steps inside the attached document "IIS Compression with Controller 8.pdf". This enables compression for the whole IIS server.
  4. Afterwards, use "IIS Manager" to check that the compression has been successfully enabled by:
  • Select Web Sites folder
  • Right-click and select Properties
  • Click on the Service tab
  • Verify that "Compress application files" is ticked ("checked").

IIS Compression with Controller 8.pdf

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Historical Number


Document Information

Modified date:
15 June 2018