I am still a newbie in the whole GIS field, so there may be an obvious answer that I am completely oblivious about. I have, using ArcGIS desktop 10.2, and a feature class of roughly 125,000 record created a Gazetteer-style address locator, defining PlaceName, City, and Region attributes. While testing the locator, using usually one-word place name, I found out that it performs very slowly, processing about 120 record/hour, which meant that on one single line address can take up to 4 minutes of processing, that is running on a 2.4GHz i5 processor. Even when published on ArcGIS Server 10.1 on a different machine, it's still as slow.
Is the expected performance, or what am I doing wrong? Thanks for your help.
That is a ridiculously low performance, especially on a Desktop. You should expect rates in the millions per hour for a single locator. Make sure your reference data is correct and 'perfect'. That is no null or blank values, unique keys and all required fields populated.
On ArcServer the peformance will be much slower because you need to send the addresses across a network, process and return the results. In that case performance for bulk geocoding will probably be too slow to be useful. So stick to a network based geocoder for bulk geocoding.