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Remove a server from the farm (SharePoint Server 2010)

Published: May 12, 2010

There are three types of servers in a server farm running Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010: Web servers, application servers, and database servers.

You can remove a Web server or an application server from the server farm by uninstalling SharePoint Server 2010 from the server through Control Panel.

If a Web or application server is no longer available, or if uninstalling SharePoint Server 2010 from Control Panel is not possible, you can remove the Web server or application server from the farm by using the SharePoint Central Administration Web site. We highly recommend that you use the process described in Remove a Web server or an application server from a farm by using Control Panel to uninstall SharePoint Server 2010 instead of using Central Administration. Removing a server from the farm by using Central Administration does not uninstall SharePoint Server 2010 from that server, nor does it render any sites on that server inaccessible. Conversely, when you uninstall SharePoint Server 2010 by using Control Panel, you remove the program files and other information from the server. Removing the server from the farm by using Central Administration does not delete this information from the server. Use the Central Administration procedure for removing database servers only, or for removing a Web server or an application server from the farm when the server is no longer available to uninstall through Control Panel.

To remove a database server from a farm, you must first move any databases that are hosted by that server to another database server in the farm. You can then use Central Administration to remove the database server.

Before you remove a database server from a farm, make sure that you have moved any databases stored on that server to a different database server in your farm.

Important Important:

You cannot remove a database server if it is the only database server available in the farm, or if it is the database server that hosts the configuration database.

Membership in the Farm Administrators group and the Administrators group on the local server computer are the minimum requirements to complete the procedures described in this article.

In this article:

Remove a Web server or an application server from a farm by using Control Panel

We recommend that you remove Web servers and application servers from a farm by using this procedure, instead of by using Central Administration.

Caution Caution:

If you uninstall SharePoint Server 2010 from the server that is running Central Administration, you will not be able to administer the server farm until you configure another server in the farm to host the Central Administration site.

Removing a server that contains a search topology component can affect future search activities. The extent of that impact depends on the farm search topology. We recommend that you remove or relocate any search topology components from a server prior to removing the server from the farm.

If you remove a server that hosts a crawl component, no index files are lost. However, you might reduce or remove the capacity to crawl content.

You can lose index files in the following situations:

  • The farm has only one query component, and you remove the server that hosts the query component.

  • You have configured the index to be partitioned and you delete the last query component in one of the partitions. In this case, you will lose a portion of the index.

In either of these cases, a full crawl will have to be performed to re-create the index files.

You can deploy specific techniques to build fault tolerance into the search topology. If these are in place, the deliberate or unplanned removal of a server from the topology can be absorbed without losing data and without affecting the ability to crawl or serve queries. (However, performance can still be affected.) For more information, see Technical diagrams (SharePoint Server 2010).

Make sure that the server that you want to remove is not running any important site components. If important services or components (such as a custom Web Part) are running on the server and are not available on another server in the farm, removing the server can damage sites in the farm. For example, if the server that you want to remove is the only application server in the farm that is running the Business Data Connectivity service, removing the server can make any sites that rely on that service stop working correctly.

Before you uninstall a server, you must stop the services that are running on that server. For information about how to determine which services are running on a specific server and stopping services, see Manage services on the server (SharePoint Server 2010).

To remove a Web server or an application server from a farm by using Control Panel

  1. Verify that the user account that is performing this procedure is a member of the Administrators group on the local server computer.

  2. On the server that you want to remove from the farm, click Start, click Control Panel, and then double-click Programs and Features.

  3. In the list of currently installed programs, click SharePoint Server 2010, and then click Uninstall.

  4. Click Continue at the confirmation prompt to uninstall the program.

Remove any kind of server from a farm by using Central Administration

You can use this procedure to remove a Web server, application server, or database server from the farm.

To remove any kind of server from a server farm by using Central Administration

  1. Verify that the user account that is performing this procedure is a member of the Farm Administrators SharePoint group.

  2. On the SharePoint Central Administration Web site, in the System Settings section, click Manage servers in this farm.

  3. On the Servers in Farm page, locate the row that contains the name of the server that you want to remove, and then click Remove Server.

  4. In the warning that appears, click OK to remove the server or click Cancel to stop the operation.

    The page refreshes, and the server that you removed no longer appears in the list of servers.

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