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Add a Web or application server to the farm (SharePoint Server 2010)

Published: May 12, 2010

This article describes how to add a server to an existing Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 farm so the server can later be configured for use as a front-end Web server or as an application server. The procedures in this article apply to a SharePoint Server 2010 farm that consists of at least two tiers; they are not intended to be used for converting a single server deployment to a multiple server farm.

In this article:

Preparation

Planning and preparation is required before you add a server to the farm. There are several tasks that fall within the scope of planning and preparation. The first task is to determine the role that the new server will in the farm. After you complete this task there are additional tasks to complete before you begin installing software on the new server.

Determine server role

In order to add a new server to the farm you must know its intended role in order to plan for additional or specialized configuration as well as assess the potential impact of adding the server to a production environment.

note Note:

In a typical three-tier farm, there are front-end Web servers, an application server that also hosts Central Administration, and a database server. The scope of this article is the front-end Web server and application server roles.

After you determine the role that the server will have in your farm topology you need to identify the services and features that must be configured in order for the server to meet this role. This information will determine how SharePoint Server 2010 is configured in order to provision the server for its role in either the Web tier or the application tier. For more information, see Service application and service management (SharePoint Server 2010).

The following illustration shows a SharePoint Server 2010 farm with two front-end Web servers (Web-1 and Web-2) that serve content and host the search query component. The only application server (App-1) hosts Central Administration and the search crawl component for the farm.

Options for adding a server to a farm

SharePoint Server 2010 farm: Add a server

The following sections provide information about the general characteristics of the front-end Web server and application server roles.

Front-end Web server role

The fundamental role of a front-end Web server is hosting the Web pages, the Web services, and the Web Parts that are necessary to process requests received from users. The Web server directs these requests to the application server, which returns the results to the front-end Web server.

Depending on farm requirements, the front-end Web server may also be configured to support search in scenarios where there are not any dedicated search servers.

note Note:

Distributing search is not an option for SharePoint Foundation 2010, where only a single search instance is permitted for each content database.

SharePoint Server 2010 provides more flexibility by letting you to install different search components, typically query, on one or more front-end Web servers. This is shown as option A in the preceding farm illustration. Adding a third server also improves load balancing and increases front-end Web server availability. A three server deployment on the Web tier is called a stretched farm.

Application server role

In a three tier farm, the server that hosts Central Administration is by default, an application server. You can add application servers to host services that can be deployed to a single server and used by all the servers in a farm.

Services with similar usage and performance characteristics can be logically grouped together on a server, and if necessary, hosted on multiple servers if a scale out is required to respond to performance or capacity requirements. For example, client-related farm services such as Word Services and Word Viewer can be combined into a service group and hosted on a dedicated server. In addition, some services, such as the Managed Metadata service, can be configured as service application that can be used by other farms.

In our farm illustration, there are two options for adding an application server.

  • In option B the new server is added and configured to host all the queries for the farm. The query component is removed from the front-end Web servers.

  • In option C the new server is added and configured as a dedicated crawl server, which offloads farm indexing from the server that hosts Central Administration. The front-end Web servers continue to host the query component for the farm.

In a three-tier farm that is running enterprise search, dedicated application servers are typically configured to host individual enterprise search components. Servers hosting a query component are commonly referred to as query servers and servers hosting a crawl component are referred to as index servers. For more information, see Manage search topology (SharePoint Server 2010).

Additional tasks

Before you start installing prerequisite software on the server you need to:

  • Verify that the new server meets the hardware and software requirements described in Hardware and software requirements (SharePoint Server 2010).

    note Note:

    As a best practice, we recommend the operating system on the new server should be at the same service pack level and have the same security updates and other hotfixes as the existing farm servers.

  • Verify that you have the minimum level of permissions required to install and configure on the new server. You must be a member of the Farm Administrators SharePoint group and the Administrators group on the local server computer to complete the procedures in this article. For more information, see Initial deployment administrative and service accounts (SharePoint Server 2010).

  • Verify that you know the name of the database server that the farm you are connecting to uses, as well as the name of the configuration database if you are adding the server by using Windows PowerShell commands.

  • If you intend to use Windows PowerShell commands to add the server, verify that you meet the following minimum requirements: You are a member of the SharePoint_Shell_Access role on the configuration database and a member of the WSS_ADMIN_WPG local group on the computer where SharePoint 2010 Products is installed.

  • Document the location of the SharePoint Server 2010 binary and log files on the existing farm servers. We recommend that the location of these files on the new server map to the locations used on the other servers in the farm. For more information, see Configure diagnostic logging (SharePoint Server 2010).

    Important Important:

    If you change the trace log path to a non-system drive, this location must exist on all the servers in the farm. Existing or new servers cannot log data if the location does not exist. In addition, you will not be able to add new servers unless the path you specify exists on the new server. You cannot use a network share for logging purposes.

Install prerequisite software

Before you can install SharePoint Server 2010 and add a server to the farm you must check for, and install all the prerequisite software on the new server. This is done by using the SharePoint Server 2010 Preparation Tool, which requires an Internet connection to download and configure SharePoint Server 2010 prerequisites. If you do not have an Internet connection for the farm servers, you can still use the tool to determine what software is required. You will have to obtain installable images for the required software. For installation locations, see Software requirements in "Determine hardware and software requirements (SharePoint Server 2010)."

Tip Tip:

After you obtain a copy of the required software, we recommend that you create an installation point that you can use for storing the images. You can use this installation point for installing future software updates.

For detailed instructions about how to install the prerequisites, see "Prepare the farm servers" in the Multiple servers for a three-tier farm (SharePoint Server 2010) article.

Install the SharePoint Products software

After all the prerequisites are installed, use the following procedure to install SharePoint Server 2010 on the new server. For detailed instructions about how to install SharePoint Server 2010, see Deploy a single server with SQL Server (SharePoint Server 2010).

To install SharePoint

  1. From the product media or a file share that contains the SharePoint Server 2010 Products installation files run Setup.exe.

  2. On the Start page, click the link to install SharePoint Server 2010.

  3. Review and accept the Microsoft License Terms.

  4. Select a Server farm installation and then select a complete installation.

    note Note:

    You can choose to install only the components required for a front-end Web server. However, by using a complete installation you have more flexibility in re-purposing the server role in the farm at a later time.

  5. Accept the default file location where SharePoint Server 2010 will be installed or change the installation path to suit your requirements.

    note Note:

    As a best practice, we recommend that you install SharePoint Server 2010 on a non-system drive.

  6. When Setup finishes, a dialog box prompts you to complete the configuration of your server by running the SharePoint Products Configuration wizard. You can start the wizard immediately or from the Windows command prompt later.

To add the server to the farm

You can a server to the farm by using the SharePoint Server 2010 user interface or by using Windows PowerShell. Both approaches are described in the following procedures:

  • Add a server by using the user interface

  • Add a server by using Windows PowerShell

Use the following procedure to add the server to the farm by using the configuration wizard.

To add a server by using the user interface

  1. On the new server, click Start, point to All Programs and then click Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Products Configuration Wizard.

  2. On the Welcome to SharePoint Products page, click Next.

  3. On the Connect to a server farm page, click Connect to an existing server farm.

  4. Click Next.

  5. On the Specify Configuration Database settings page, type the name of the instance of SQL Server in the Database server box, and then click Retrieve Database Names.

  6. Select the name of the configuration database in the Database name list, and then click Next.

  7. On the Specify Farm Security Settings page, type the name of the farm passphrase in the Passphrase box, and then click Next.

  8. On the Completing the SharePoint Products Configuration Wizard page, click Next.

  9. On the server that hosts Central Administration, click Manage servers in this farm to verify that the new server is part of the farm.

    note Note:

    You can also verify a successful server addition, or troubleshoot a failed addition by examining the log files. These files are located on the drive on which SharePoint Server 2010 is installed, in the %COMMONPROGRAMFILES%\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\14\LOGS folder.

  10. On the Servers in Farm page, click the name of the new server. Use the list of available services on the Services on Server page to start the services that you want to run on the new server.

  11. Configure SharePoint Server 2010 so the new server can accommodate the role it was intended for. For more information, see Configure the new server.

Before you begin adding the server by using the following Windows PowerShell procedure, install SharePoint Server 2010 using the setup program.

To add a server by using Windows PowerShell

  1. On the Start menu, click All Programs.

  2. Click SharePoint 2010 Management Shell. At this point you can issue the following commands to add the server to the farm.

  3. At the Windows PowerShell command prompt, type the following command to connect the server to a configuration database:

    Connect-SPConfigurationDatabase -DatabaseServer "<$DatabaseServer>" -DatabaseName "<$RunSettings.ConfigurationDatabaseName>" -Passphrase "<$Passphrase>"
    

    Where:

    • <$DatabaseServer> is the name of the server that hosts the configuration database

    • <$RunSettings.ConfigurationDatabaseName> is the name of the configuration database

    • <$Passphrase> is the passphrase for the farm

  4. At the Windows PowerShell command prompt, type the following command to install the Help File Collections:

    Install-SPHelpCollection -All 
    
    
  5. At the Windows PowerShell command prompt, type the following command to install the Security Resource for SharePoint:

    Initialize-SPResourceSecurity
    
  6. At the Windows PowerShell command prompt, type the following command to install the basic Services:

    Install-SPService 
    
    
  7. At the Windows PowerShell command prompt, type the following command to install all the features:

    Install-SPFeature -AllExistingFeatures 
    
    
  8. At the Windows PowerShell command prompt, type the following command to install Application Content:

    Install-SPApplicationContent 
    
    
  9. At the Windows PowerShell command prompt, type the following command to get a list of servers in the farm.

    Get-SPFarm | select Servers 
    
    
    note Note:

    You can also verify a successful server addition, or troubleshoot a failed addition by examining the log files. These files are located on the drive on which SharePoint Server 2010 is installed, in the %COMMONPROGRAMFILES%\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\14\LOGS folder.

  10. Configure SharePoint Server 2010 so the new server can accommodate the role it was intended for. For more information, see Configure the new server.

Configure the new server

The new server has no real functionality in the farm until you configure the services that are required to support the role that you planned for the new server. For more information, see Configure services (SharePoint Server 2010).

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