How to Scale Out a SharePoint 2010 Farm From Two-Tier to Three-Tier By Adding A Dedicated Application Server

Many small to medium-sized organizations start using SharePoint in a “two-tier” server farm topology.  The two tiers consist of:

  1. Tier 1 – SharePoint Server with all web page serving and all Service Applications running on it
  2. Tier 2 – A SQL Server to store the SharePoint databases – the SQL Server could be dedicated to the farm or it might be shared with other non-SharePoint applications.

Visually, this topology looks like this:

image

My experience is that this farm topology can frequently support companies with hundreds of employees.  Of course, it depends a lot on the specifications of the hardware, but with late-model quad-core Xeons running on the two servers and 8 – 16 GBs of RAM on each one with RAID built with 15k RPM SAS drives in the SQL Server, this configuration with SharePoint Server 2010 can perform very well in many organizations that have less than 1000 users.

At some point, an organization that started with this two-tier topology may want to scale out to the next level which is a three-tier topology.  The three tiers would be:

  1. Tier 1 – SharePoint Server dedicated as a Web Front-End (WFE) with only the web application(s) and the search query service running on it
  2. Tier 2 – SharePoint Server dedicated as an Application Server with all of the other service applications running on it, but no web applications or query service
  3. Tier 3 – SQL Server for the databases

Visually, this topology looks like this:

image

There are many different reasons why a company might want to scale out to three-tiers from two.  Some kind of performance improvement is frequently what drives it.  However, it may not be the obvious one of desiring better page serving times for the end users.  For instance, I frequently see companies do this to move the search crawling and index building process to a different server that is more tuned for its unique resource requirements and can do a more efficient job of crawling and indexing the company’s content.  Perhaps in the two-tier approach their crawl\index component can’t get enough hardware resources to crawl through all of the content on a timely basis.

One more point.  Many organizations will also choose to add a second WFE when they scale out to a three-tier farm.  (I don’t show this in the diagram above).  The second WFE will be configured exactly like the first one and some type of network load balancing (NLB) mechanism will be put in front of the WFEs to intelligently route user traffic to the two servers to balance out the load.   In this scenario, the three-tier farm diagram above would be modified to add a second WFE and the total number of servers in the SharePoint farm would be four.

Getting From Here to There

Here is a screen shot of all of the service applications that run on the SharePoint 2010 server in a two-tier farm when you install SharePoint Server 2010 Enterprise edition and run the out-of-the-box Configure Your SharePoint Farm Wizard and choose to provision all service applications:

image

(2nd Reminder: for this post, I am working under the assumption that you have used the SharePoint 2010 “Configure your SharePoint Farm” wizard and have opted for it to provision all of the SharePoint Server 2010 **Enterprise Edition** service applications).

Your goal is to add a third server to the SharePoint 2010 farm and have it take over running all of the service applications in the list above, with the exception of the three that have been circled.  The three that have been circled in the screen shot are the ones that are necessary for the original server to function as a dedicated WFE with query processing. 

The Search Query and Site Settings Service and some of its associated functionality in the SharePoint Server Search Service are technically not required on a WFE, but it is the best place to put them.  The reason is that this is the process that takes the user’s search query and looks it up in the indexes.  The indexes are files that the query processor needs local access to and are stored on the file system of the server(s) that is running the query service, not in SQL Server. 

So, for best performance it is recommended to run the Search Query and Site Settings Service on the WFEs that are serving the pages.  The crawling and index process is a separate process whose job it is to build the indexes and push them up to the query servers.

The Search Topology configuration settings in SharePoint 2010 dictate what functionality of the SharePoint Server Search Service runs on what server in the farm.  So, while the SharePoint Server Search Service needs to run on both the WFE and the Application Server in this example, it will be possible break out the functionality that it performs on each.  We will want it to perform query-related functionality on the WFE and crawling/indexing functionality on the Application Server.  Later in this post I will show you how to do this.

Now, on to the actual steps to doing the work:

 

Step by Step: Scaling SharePoint 2010 to Three Tiers

Step 1 – Build a new SharePoint Server with exactly the same software

I’m talking about taking a fresh physical or virtual server that has Windows Server 2008 (R1 or R2) running on it, and installing all the same SharePoint Server 2010 software on it that is installed on the existing SharePoint 2010 server in your existing farm.  That includes the full RTM Enterprise edition, whatever patches have been applied in your farm since RTM, and any other separate products that have been installed on your existing server such as the Office 2010 Web Applications and its patches.

Step 2 – Run the SharePoint 2010 Products Configuration Wizard on the new server and join the existing farm

I recommend installing all RTM software and all patches that have previously been applied to the farm BEFORE running the SharePoint 2010 Products Configuration Wizard from the new server’s Start menu.  This means that you will want to respond NO to the prompt to automatically run the wizard until you have installed all software packages on the new server.  This will save you from having to run the wizard multiple times.  Run it once – after you have installed all software and patches on the new server.

When you do run the SharePoint 2010 Products Configuration Wizard, you will run it on the new server that will be your application server.  The wizard is going to help you join the server to the farm and get all of the software configured and running that you installed in Step 1.

Here are what the pages of the wizard look like as you go through the process:

image

 

image

 

image

 

image

 

image

Oops, you forgot to install a piece of software on this new server that is already installed on the other server.  The wizard has caught your error and is not going to let you proceed until you get this done.

Exit the wizard and go install the software – in this case, the Microsoft Office 2010 Web Apps.

OK, you got the missing software installed and have restarted the wizard.  The next screen asks you for the Farm PassPhrase.  This is a special password you created when you originally created the farm.  You have to enter it here in order to join this server to the farm:

image

image

If you click on Advanced Settings above, the next page asks whether or not you want to use this server to host the Central Administration website (sort of implying that you could move it from your existing SharePoint 2010 server to the new one). 

I haven’t tried selecting the second option in SharePoint 2010.  In MOSS 2007, according to this blog post you needed to remove the Central Administration web application from the original server before you got to this step on the new server. In the context of scaling out by adding an application server, that is probably what you would want do.  If you choose to go this route, just make sure you have good backups before you delete the Central Admin site from the existing server. Smile

For this walkthrough, you are going to leave Central Administration on the existing server:

image

 

image

 

image

Now the server has been joined to the farm and is a full-fledged farm member.  But, the Configure Your SharePoint Farm Wizard in Central Administration needs to run to add the service applications that exist in the farm to this new server.  So, it automatically fires up your browser and asks you to run the Farm Configuration Wizard:

image

 

After you start the wizard, it will just run for a while without any input from you and return this page if everything was successful:

image

 

Step 3 – Verifying that everything is running properly on the new server

It’s a good idea at this point to go verify that the new server is showing up as a member of the farm with a healthy status.  To do that go to Central Administration > System Settings > Manage Servers In This Farm and find the new server and verify that it has a “No action required” status:

image

 

image

 

Take a moment to breathe deep and pat yourself on the back Smile.  You have done a lot of work to get to this point.  You now have a three-tier SharePoint 2010 farm. 

But, there is more work to be done so that your three-tier farm has only the web page serving and query processing services running on the WFE and all of the other service applications running only on the Application Server.  Until you get that accomplished, the job is not done. 

(Note: the farm will work and be fully functional if you stop here.  You will have the same Service Applications running on multiple servers and SharePoint 2010 will automatically use this topology as a load balancing technique for the Service Applications.  There may be some environments where this is desired.  But, most organizations will want to separate the web-serving services and the application-serving services to provide a better balance for the farm as a whole as opposed to just load balancing the Service Applications.)

Step 4 – Re-configure the servers to run the services that are appropriate for their individual roles

You want the Web Front-End to run these (and only these) services:

  1. Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Web Application (this is what turns IIS into a SharePoint “page-serving” machine)
  2. Search Query and Site Settings Service (the process that takes the user’s query string and looks it up in the index)
  3. SharePoint Server Search Service (but just the functionality that is necessary for the query processor)
  4. Central Administration (assuming you didn’t decide to move it to the Application Server)

You want the Application Server to run these (and only these) services:

  1. Access Database Service
  2. Application Registry Service
  3. Business Data Connectivity Service
  4. Excel Calculation Services
  5. Managed Metadata Web Service
  6. Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Incoming E-mail
  7. Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Workflow Timer Service
  8. PerformancePoint Service
  9. Secure Store Service
  10. SharePoint Server Search (but just the scheduled content crawling and indexing building functionality)
  11. User Profile Service
  12. Visio Graphics Service
  13. Web Analytics Data Processing Service
  14. Web Analytics Web Service
  15. Word Automation Services
  16. Word Viewing Service

If you can get this done and everything works properly, you will have achieved your overall goal.

(Important Note: Step 1 above is really the only step in the process that can be done during normal working hours.  Everything else has the potential to impact the availability of the system to the users.  If everything goes smoothly, it is possible to do Step 2 through Step 4 in two to four hours.  Of course, it is highly recommended to have solid backups in place before starting Step 2.)

For the most part, the re-configuration of the services involves stopping a lot of services on the WFE server (using the Services on Server page in Central Admin) and verifying that they are running on the new server (which they probably are because the Configure Your SharePoint Farm wizard started them up when you ran it in Step 2).  Then, you will want to make one last pass over the list of services running on the Application Server and make sure that the Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Web Application Service and the Search Query and Site Settings are not running on it.

Adjusting the Search Application Topology

The exception to the statements of the previous paragraph is the search-related services:  SharePoint Server Search Service and Search Query and Site Settings Service.  Search is complicated enough that it has its own topology configuration settings.   You need to use this capability to place the query functionality of the SharePoint Server Search Service on the WFE and to place the crawling\indexing functionality of the service on the Application Server.

Since this is a little more complicated than the other Service Applications, go ahead and do this one first.

Navigate to the Search Administration home page in Central Administration.  Scroll down to the bottom of the page until you see the section titled Search Application Topology:

image

This part of the page shows you what servers the following four components of the Search service are running on:

  • Search Administration component
  • Crawling component (this is the crawling engine that crawls your content and builds full-text indexes from it)
  • Database component (as the crawling engine crawls through the content, it stores the full-text indexes in SQL Server.  It also compiles the full-text indexes into special non-SQL files that can be propagated up to the WFE)
  • Query component (this is the component that receives the user’s query and looks up the results in the special files that have been propagated to the hard drive of the WFE)

The Server Name column shows that the Search Administration, Crawl, and Query components are currently running on the existing server (SPS-INTRANET in the example).  The search-related databases are running on the SQL Server.

You want to do the following:

  1. Move the Search Administration component to the new Application Server
  2. Move the Crawl component to the new Application Server
  3. Leave the Database component running on the SQL Server
  4. Leave the Query component running on the WFE

To accomplish this, click on the Modify button to go to the Topology for Search Service Application page:

image

By hovering your mouse over the component lines, you can bring up a drop down menu and select Edit Properties for the components you want to move to the new server. 

Do this now for the Search Administration component:

image

 

Now do it the same way for the Crawl component (screen shot is the same as the one above).

 

Once you have changed the server assignments for these two components, you need to kick of the actual transfer of responsibilities by clicking on Apply Topology Changes:

image

 

The actual transfer of responsibilities begins:

image

When it is finished, you will be returned to the Search Administration home page and you should see that the components have been transferred as directed and all of the search-related servers should have a status of “Online”:

image

Note:  I am not sure why, but this page never shows anything in the Status column for the Databases component.  So, it is normal for that column to be blank for that component.

 

Transferring the remaining Service Applications

All that is left is to use the Services on Server page in Central Administration to make sure the list of services running on each server matches your master list from above:

You want the Web Front-End to run these (and only these) services:

  1. Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Web Application (this is what turns IIS into a SharePoint page-serving machine)
  2. Search Query and Site Settings Service (the process that takes the user’s query string and looks it up in the index)
  3. SharePoint Server Search Service (only the functionality that is necessary for the query processor)
  4. Central Administration (assuming you didn’t decide to move it to the Application Server)

You want the Application Server to run these (and only these) services:

  1. Access Database Service
  2. Application Registry Service
  3. Business Data Connectivity Service
  4. Excel Calculation Services
  5. Managed Metadata Web Service
  6. Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Incoming E-mail
  7. Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Workflow Timer Service
  8. PerformancePoint Service
  9. Secure Store Service
  10. SharePoint Server Search (only the scheduled content crawling and indexing building functionality)
  11. User Profile Service
  12. Visio Graphics Service
  13. Web Analytics Data Processing Service
  14. Web Analytics Web Service
  15. Word Automation Services
  16. Word Viewing Service

To do this, you use the Server drop-down control to select the server you want to adjust, and then use the Start/Stop link in the Action column to turn on/off the services.

Here is what your Services on Server page should look like once each has been properly adjusted fore each server:

For the Web Front-End (SPS-INTRANET in this example):

image

 

For the Application Server (SPS-APPSVR in this example):

image

 

If you navigate to the Servers in Farm page of Central Administration, you will see a more succinct view of your new farm topology:

image

 

Step 5 – Testing and Verifying

Even though you are ready to head out the door and head home since you are probably doing this on a night or weekend, it is really important to fight the urge to leave too soon.  You really need to do some basic testing and verification before you leave.  It will be a lot better to find out about any problems now rather than when the next business day has already started.

Here is what I recommend doing before you leave:

  1. Browse to each of your SharePoint web applications and log in with your user account and make sure you can hit the home page of each of them.
  2. While you are there, try to open up and edit a document in the browser using one of the Office 2010 Web Apps (Word, PowerPoint, Excel or OneNote).
  3. Browse to your My Site and verify that everything is working normally.
  4. Add a unique phrase to a test page somewhere in one of your Sites (I always use the phrase “jabborwocky” Smile) and then go run an incremental Search crawl from Central Administration.  After the crawl completes, go back to your Site Collection and search for the phrase.  Verify that it comes up in the results.
  5. Run an incremental User Profile Synchronization from the User Profile Administration page.  While it is running, logon to the desktop of the new Application Server, and find this program and run it:  c:\program files\microsoft office servers\14.0\synchronization service\uishell\miisclient.exe.  This is the Forefront Identity Management (FIM) client application that you can use to see the details of the AD synchronization process.  Several jobs will be run by FIM.  Verify that they all complete successfully with no error messages.
  6. In Central Administration, go into Manage Service Applications and click on Managed Metadata Service and select Manage in the ribbon.  Verify that the Term Store management interface loads and that you can add/change/delete a Term Set and some Terms.
  7. Finally, reboot your WFE and Application Server.  When they come back up, check your Windows System and Application event logs on those servers and verify that there are no SharePoint-related critical or warning events that you haven’t seen before you scaled out to three tiers.
  8. Browse to your primary web application one more time before you head out the door.

 

I hope this blog post is a good resource for those SharePoint Server Administrators who find themselves needing to scale out to the next level!

Related Posts

cmdSysprep.png cmdSysprep_thumb.png startCMDAdmin.png startCMDAdmin_thumb.png cmdBCDEditEnum.png cmdBCDEditEnum_thumb.png cmdBCDEditCopy.png cmdBCDEditCopy_thumb.png cmdMark.png cmdMark_thumb.png cmdHighlight.png cmdHighlight_thumb.png cmdPaste.png cmdPaste_thumb.png cmdBCDEditDevice.png cmdBCDEditDevice_thumb.png cmdBCDEditDetectHAL.png cmdBCDEditDetectHAL_thumb.png

SharePoint 2010 Lab Environment Part 2 – Bootable vhd Files

image.png image_thumb.png image.png image_thumb.png cmdExtract.png cmdExtract_thumb.png wxConfig.xml.png wxConfig.xml_thumb.png npConfig.xml.png npConfig.xml_thumb.png wxPreReqInstallers.png wxPreReqInstallers_thumb.png wxMSIdentity.png wxMSIdentity_thumb.png cmdIISPreReqInstall.png cmdIISPreReqInstall_thumb.png wizWin7Warning.png wizWin7Warning_thumb.png

SharePoint 2010 Lab Environment Part 1 – Installing SharePoint on Windows 7

Deploying and Upgrading to Project Server 2010

Externalizing BLOB Storage in SharePoint 2010

28 Comments

  1. Avatar of Jai Kasinathan

    Jai Kasinathan - April 7, 2011, 10:23 am

    Hello Jeff, the Article was very useful. This is my Scenario , I have a two tier farm, web/serviceapp on one box and database on the other.
    i wanted to add a second server to the farm, [not seperating the web frontend] followed the instruction, was able to join the second box to the exisisting farm.The Central admin stays in the first machine, have not moved that. when I browse the webapplication from the second box, i still see all the URL pointing to the first box. Do I have to add the alternate access mapping ? . I intend to Load Balance these two servers and add database mirroring for the DB. according to your article, where i am with my installation, all my service app are already load balanced ?

  2. Avatar of Jai Kasinathan

    Jai Kasinathan - April 7, 2011, 1:42 pm

    Jeff, I was able to do a Host file hack to see if the webapp works from the second machine. so all good there. in 2010 , do we have to remove the central admin from the first machine inorder to install on the second server ? how does this work? any help would be great on this Topic

  3. Avatar of Paul Slager

    Paul Slager - May 20, 2011, 10:48 am

    Hi Jeff,

    I have created a brand new SharePoint 2010 environment. I have a SQL Server running SQL 2008 R2 on a Windows 2008 R2 Enterprise Machine. Then I have to Windows 2008 R2 Enterprise machines running SharePoint one for WFE and one for indexing/applications.

    I ran the SharePoint April 2011 Cumulative Update which was about 600MB on both SharePoint boxes. Both boxes show up under manage servers in your farm but they say Upgrade Required next to them. I click the “upgrade required” link and it tells me to run the following command. stsadm.exe -o localupgradestatus

    So I run the command and this is what I get back.
    [0] content database(s) encountered.
    [0] content database(s) still need upgrade or cannot be upgraded.
    [0] site collection(s) are contained in the content databases.
    [0] site collection(s) still need upgrade.
    [1] other objects encountered, [1] of them still need upgrade or cannot be upgra
    ded.

    So basically it says 1 other object was encountered I have no idea where to start troubleshooting.

    My ultimate goal with this whole thing is to migrate my 2007 database to SharePoint 2010 so I have alot of work ahead of me and I already spent a good deal of time on this project I am hoping you can assist.

  4. Avatar of Paul Slager

    Paul Slager - May 20, 2011, 11:32 am

    I actually fixed this issue by running
    PSConfig.exe -cmd upgrade -inplace b2b -force -cmd applicationcontent -install -cmd installfeatures

    On both SharePoint servers one at a time. This updated the databases that were also within the acceptable range but had updates and fixed my issue. I found more detail about my error under monitoring, health analyzer which was actually a good tool.

  5. Avatar of Jeff Cate

    Jeff Cate - May 20, 2011, 11:47 am

    Hi Paul,

    I am curious if SharePoint thinks that your April 2011 CU completed successfully.

    The way to find out is to go to Central Administration > Check Upgrade Status and see if you see any errors.

  6. Avatar of Ricky Spears

    Ricky Spears - June 23, 2011, 8:44 am

    Thanks for the GREAT article, Jeff! Very helpful!

    I do have one minor correction. The “Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Incoming E-mail” needs to be running on the WFE instead of the Application Server. If there are multiple WFEs in a farm, it will need to be running on each of them.

  7. SharePoint Help — Blog — A Few Notes on SharePoint 2010 Service Pack 1 and the June Cumulative Update - July 29, 2011, 8:56 pm

    [...] Server (APP01), and a separate Database Server; almost exactly as described in Jeff’s post How to Scale Out a SharePoint 2010 Farm from Two-Tier to Three-Tier By Adding a Dedicated Applicatio…) to Service Pack 1 and the June 2011 Cumulative Update. This isn’t going to be an exhaustive post [...]

  8. Avatar of Ritu

    Ritu - August 22, 2011, 12:12 pm

    Hi Jeff, Great Post!

    I have a 400 user base and want to configure a highly available and load balanced SharePoint 2010 environment set up. Now my question is -

    1. In order to make this environment both Highly Available and Load Balanced what would be the best approarch-

    Approach 1-

    2 Tier architecture with Network Load Balancing i.e. we have 2 WFE that also run all the service applications and one of them serves as an indexing server. Is this too much of a load on the web server for a 400 user base with 50 users using advance service application features likes performance point, managed metadata.

    Approach 2-

    3 Tier architeture with 2 Load Balanced WFE, and 2 application server. I know that SharePoint has the capability to load balance in a 3 tier approach, but what I am not sure is how do I handle availability in 3 Tier architecture at application server level, because if the application server goes down various service application will also go down.

    Please recommend the best possible approach obviously we want to do this with least number of server.

  9. Avatar of Jeff Cate

    Jeff Cate - August 22, 2011, 12:45 pm

    Hi srituraj,

    Very good questions.

    First, there are too many factors involved that affect performance for me to tell you whether or not either of these architectures would perform well in your environment. There are so many other things, besides the architecture, that play into the performance equation such as server physical characteristics (cpu, memory, disk speed, etc.) and network charachterisitcs (speed, latency, etc.) that I don’t know about for your environment that I would need to know about to give you an answer. Truthfully, no one can give you a good answer to that without spending a few hours digging into your infrastructure specifications and characteristics.

    I can answer the question about load balancing of SharePoint application servers in a 3 tier farm. You are going to like the answer :) .

    SharePoint is really smart when it comes to Service Applications. If you start a given Service Application (for instance, the Managed Metadata Service Application) on multiple servers in your SharePoint 2010 farm, SharePoint will automatically load balance its usage of them. How cool is that!? It just works, straight out of the box – there is nothing for you to configure.

    Furthermore, this provides you with fault-tolerance as well. If you have all of your service applications running on more than one application server in your farm, if one of those application servers goes down, your users will still have the full functionality of each service application available to them.

  10. Avatar of Jeff Cate

    Jeff Cate - August 22, 2011, 1:07 pm

    A past student of mine, Raghu, asks some good questions on this topic:

    Jeff,
    I undergone upgrade training in Chicago from Sharepoint Solutions.
    i dont know how this site works and where i can submit my questions, I am sorry if this not the right method of asking questions directly to you.
    i have some questions about Application Load Balancing.
    Let take an example of Two Farms FARM A AND FARMB
    FARM A has two Web Server and 1 Application and 1 Database Servers
    FARM B has two Web Server and 1 Application and 1 Database Servers
    Let say I created Web Application FARM A AND Site Collection FARM A-SiteCollection and I created one more Web Application FARM B AND Site Collection FARM B-SiteCollection.
    1) can i able to access the Web Application Created in FARM A AND Site Collection created in FARM A if Application Server in FARM A goes down.
    2) If Application Server in FARM A Fails, FARM B Automatically servers all the services from FARM B or do we need to configure the services in FARM B for FARM A.

    I really apprecaite you.

    Thanks,
    Raghu

  11. Avatar of Jeff Cate

    Jeff Cate - August 22, 2011, 1:09 pm

    Hi Raghu,

    Good to hear from you!

    It sounds like you may be thinking that the way to ”fault tolerance” is to have two duplicate SharePoint farms. The reason I say this is that you talk about one farm going down and wanting to know if you can still access a Site Collection in the other farm. Is having fault tolerance for your SharePoint content what you are trying to achieve?

    If so, the way to achieve fault tolerance with SharePoint is to use multiple redundant servers in A SINGLE FARM.

    Here is how you can achieve fault tolerance in a single SharePoint farm:

    1. Have at least two Web Front-end Servers (WFEs) and use network load balancing to route requests to the servers (you can use a hardware device, like an F5, or software such as Windows NLB or Forefront TMG. If one of the WFEs goes down, your users will still be able to go through the other one.

    2. Have at least two application servers and have all of your Service Applications started on both of the servers. SharePoint 2010 will automatically load balance the Service Applications. Just like with the WFEs, if one application server goes down, the farm will still service users from the one that stays up.

    3. Have a SQL Server cluster of at least two servers. Remember that your SQL Server is really a member of the SharePoint farm as well. If you only have one SQL Server, it doesn’t matter if you follow my recommendations for #1 and #2 above. SQL will be your choke point. You have to use SQL Clustering or SQL Mirroring to come up with true fault-tolerance for your SharePoint farm.

    Hope this helps!

  12. Avatar of Ritu

    Ritu - August 23, 2011, 7:00 pm

    Hi Jeff,

    Thanks for the answers, and as pointed out I am really thrilled to know the second part that sharepoint does load balancing on Application Level. I know the first part of the question is pretty loaded. Here are the details that may help you better judge our design specs that I am considering to move forward with (at least initially) [ please note we have dropped the idea of redundancy at application and WFE level]

    Hardware Specs:
    1 Web Sever (all service application loaded + Index severs) : 1 quad core xeon processor, 16 GB RAM, 80 GB OS Drive(C:), D: 120 GB
    1 Clustered Database: 32 GB; 2 quadcore processor
    Concurrent Users 50-100.

    Now incase we note performance issue, I will add another application server[ with same specs as WFE] that would be load balanced by SharePoint itself.

  13. Avatar of Jeff Cate

    Jeff Cate - August 23, 2011, 7:19 pm

    Hi srituraj,

    From a performance standpoint, your specs seem like a reasonable way to start. My guess is that you will have pretty good performance, assuming that your clustered SQL server is not heavily used by other non-SharePoint applications.

    With a clustered SQL Server you certainly have fault tolerance on the databases. But, what would concern me about your design is the fact that you don’t have any fault tolerance on your web server. If it goes down, SharePoint is down.

    Can you add a second web server (a VM maybe?) to the SharePoint farm for a quick DNS cutover to it in the event that your primary web server goes down? You could also use Windows Network Load Balancing to achieve this, but you probably wouldn’t want the second web server as an active load balance participant if it is not of comparable specs to your primary web server.

  14. Avatar of Ritu

    Ritu - August 24, 2011, 11:28 am

    Thanks Jeff. Good points. SharePoint as it stands right now is not a critical application and we are thinking to minimize the downtime risk by virtualizing the environment ( for quick recovery) and having an SLA agreement of 8 hours downtime. If the SLA is not acceptable we have no choice but to NLB the Web Server ( which adds more license and hardware cost).

    Do you have any recommendations regarding any tool that we could possibly use to Load Test our current Moss Environment and later SP 2010.

  15. Avatar of Ritu

    Ritu - August 24, 2011, 8:25 pm

    Hi Jeff,
    I am not sure whether I am posting this question at the correct location or not, but anyway please feel free to move it if need be.

    Now before really finalizing the design I am looking to do some capacity management/performance testing of our existing MOSS 2007 environment and later use the same metrics to access our upgrade to SP 2010.

    I am looking to do some capacity planning and want to gather metric on both the web server &
    Database server for an existing MOSS 2007 environment. If possible we would also want to use the same tool for benchmarking performance after upgarde to Sharepoint 2010. Some of the key indicators I am looking to capture are -:

    Average daily RPS
    Average RPS at peak time
    Total number of unique users per day
    Average daily concurrent users
    Peak concurrent users at peak time
    Total number of requests per day

    So my question is – Do you know of any tool that I can use to capture these stats.

  16. links for 2011-09-13 « Jet Grrl - September 13, 2011, 7:21 pm

    [...] SharePoint Help — Blog — How to Scale Out a SharePoint 2010 Farm From Two-Tier to Three-Tier By … (tags: sharepoint architecture) [...]

  17. Avatar of Chris Cherry

    Chris Cherry - September 28, 2011, 3:33 pm

    Hi Jeff – it’s been a while…

    I am setting up SP 2010 with:

    2 WFE
    1 Service Application Server
    1 DB Cluster

    While I understand how the Service Applications work, I am trying to wrap my head around the web application portion of load balancing.

    If I have 2 equal WFE servers (WEB01 and WEB02) and the Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Web Application is running on both, should I be able to open ShrePoint’s home page using 2 different URLs? (http://WEB01 and http://WEB02) Currently, that does not work – the site only comes up using http://WEB01.

    I will be talking with the network guys that will be setting up hardware Load Balancing between the 2 WFEs and I am not sure how to explain to them how to set it up…

    Thanks,

    Chris Cherry

  18. Avatar of Chris Cherry

    Chris Cherry - September 28, 2011, 3:39 pm

    BTW – Pardon my ignorance on this subject; I have never had to do any load balancing with SharePoint – this is my first exposure to it…

  19. How to Scale Out a SharePoint 2010 Farm From Two-Tier to Three-Tier By Adding A Dedicated Application Server - Fatshark's Personal Blog - October 4, 2011, 10:30 am

    [...] Tuesday, October 4. 2011 Many small to medium-sized organizations start using SharePoint in a “two-tier” server farm topology. The two tiers consist of: 1.Tier 1 – SharePoint Server with all web page serving and all Service Applications running on it 2.Tier 2 – A SQL Server to store the SharePoint databases – the SQL Server could be dedicated to the farm or it might be shared with other non-SharePoint applications. My experience is that this farm topology can frequently support companies with hundreds of employees. Of course, it depends a lot on the specifications of the hardware, but with late-model quad-core Xeons running on the two servers and 8 – 16 GBs of RAM on each one with RAID built with 15k RPM SAS drives in the SQL Server, this configuration with SharePoint Server 2010 can perform very well in many organizations that have less than 1000 users. At some point, an organization that started with this two-tier topology may want to scale out to the next level which is a three-tier topology. The three tiers would be: 1.Tier 1 – SharePoint Server dedicated as a Web Front-End (WFE) with only the web application(s) and the search query service running on it 2.Tier 2 – SharePoint Server dedicated as an Application Server with all of the other service applications running on it, but no web applications or query service 3.Tier 3 – SQL Server for the databases Link [...]

  20. How to Scale Out a SharePoint 2010 Farm From Two-Tier to Three-Tier by Adding a Dedicated Application Server | livenetworkhub.com - October 6, 2011, 10:51 pm

    [...] I have written a detailed blog post with screenshots on our SharePoint Help site that walks through how to add a dedicated application server to an existing SharePoint 2010 two-tier farm: [...]

  21. Avatar of Chris Cherry

    Chris Cherry - November 8, 2011, 10:34 am

    Nevermind – solution was to stop/start the Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Web Application on the server that was not coming up. It showed that it was started, but it really wasn’t. Once it was restarted, file structure showed up in IIS on the server and the site started working.

  22. Avatar of Linda Bains

    Linda Bains - February 2, 2012, 12:48 pm

    I have a question in regard to SQLServer editions in the 2 and 3 Tier concept.

    In SharePoint 2010 Admin Training we discussed this topic and it was mentioned that installing SQLServer 2008R2 EE would be not be necessary on the App tier – only on the Database Tier.

    So in other words it could look like:

    1-App Tier
    IIS
    SQLServer 2008R2 SE
    SharePoint 2010 SP1 EE
    SharePoint Application services

    1-DB Tier
    SQLServer 2008R2 EE
    SharePoint 2010 SP1 EE
    SharePoint Databases

    We’ll be using BI & Performance Point and Project Server so it would look like:
    1-App Tier
    IIS
    SQLServer 2008R2 SE
    SharePoint 2010 SP1 EE
    SharePoint Application services
    Report Service

    1-DB Tier
    SQLServer 2008R2 EE
    SharePoint 2010 SP1 EE
    SharePoint Databases
    PeformancePoint
    Project Server

    And if I split to a 3 tier again – 1 & 2 would only require SQLServer 2008R2 SE and the 3rd – db tier would require SQLServer 2008R2 EE

    Your thoughts?

  23. Avatar of Linda Bains

    Linda Bains - February 2, 2012, 12:51 pm

    Correction – removed SharePoint 2010 SP1 from Database Tier

    I have a question in regard to SQLServer editions in the 2 and 3 Tier concept.

    In SharePoint 2010 Admin Training we discussed this topic and it was mentioned that installing SQLServer 2008R2 EE would be not be necessary on the App tier – only on the Database Tier.

    So in other words it could look like:

    1-App Tier
    IIS
    SQLServer 2008R2 SE
    SharePoint 2010 SP1 EE
    SharePoint Application services

    1-DB Tier
    SQLServer 2008R2 EE
    SharePoint Databases

    We’ll be using BI & Performance Point and Project Server so it would look like:
    1-App Tier
    IIS
    SQLServer 2008R2 SE
    SharePoint 2010 SP1 EE
    SharePoint Application services
    Report Service

    1-DB Tier
    SQLServer 2008R2 EE
    SharePoint Databases
    PeformancePoint
    Project Server

    And if I split to a 3 tier again – 1 & 2 would only require SQLServer 2008R2 SE and the 3rd – db tier would require SQLServer 2008R2 EE

    Your thoughts?

  24. Avatar of Shashikesh Mishra

    Shashikesh Mishra - February 8, 2012, 6:17 am

    Hi,

    This is realy good post. i have some question related on the same.

    scenario : if i have 3 web server(front end) and 2 application server ( one have central admin and another have managed meta data service running) and 1 database server.
    my question , where i need to deployed my wsp file , workflow and reciever and how these are comunicate to each other.

    Please explain, this will realy help.

  25. SharePoint MMMan » Changing the SharePoint 2013 Search Topology - March 15, 2013, 5:59 pm

    [...] change the search topology with a few clicks of your mouse in the UI (found about half way through this article under the title “Adjusting the Search Application Topology”), SharePoint 2013 does not play as [...]

  26. itgroove Blogs » Changing the SharePoint 2013 Search Topology - April 8, 2013, 4:03 pm

    [...] change the search topology with a few clicks of your mouse in the UI (found about half way through this article under the title “Adjusting the Search Application Topology”), SharePoint 2013 does not play as [...]

  27. SharePoint 2010 Best Practices - December 2, 2013, 1:34 am

    [...] http://sharepointsolutions.com/sharepoint-help/blog/2011/02/how-to-scale-out-a-sharepoint-2010-farm-…, scale out from a 2-tier farm to a 3-tier farm. [...]

Leave a Reply