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Plan to deploy Search Server 2008 or Search Server 2008 Express

Search Server 2008

Updated: March 3, 2008

Applies To: Microsoft Search Server 2008

 

Topic Last Modified: 2008-09-19

NoteNote:
Unless otherwise noted, the information in this article applies to both Microsoft Search Server 2008 and Microsoft Search Server 2008 Express.

This article addresses planning considerations for installing and configuring Microsoft Search Server 2008 or Microsoft Search Server 2008 Express. For more information about Search Server planning, see Planning and architecture for Search Server 2008. For information about known product issues, see Microsoft Search Server 2008 Known Issues.

In this article:

Before you install and configure Search Server, ensure that your servers meet the requirements described in Determine hardware and software requirements (Search Server 2008).

Identify members of your Search Server team and assign administrative roles as appropriate, including site collection administrators for Central Administration, Search Administration, and the Search Center site. Depending on the size of your organization and your requirements for search, some members of your search team might be assigned more than one administrative role, or you might require only one administrator for your entire Search Server deployment. For more information, see Plan for administrative and service accounts (Search Server 2008).

Before you begin an installation, ensure that you understand the differences between Search Server 2008 and Search Server 2008 Express and the associated installation options. These topics are addressed in the following sections:

Depending on your choices during installation, Search Server 2008 or Search Server 2008 Express can install and configure the following Search Server roles on a computer:

  • Application server role   A Search Server host computer that is configured as an application server can provide these roles:

    • The index server role, which crawls content and indexes the crawled content.

    • The query server role, which serves search queries.

    For information about separating the index and query server roles on multiple application servers in a Search Server farm, see Topology options later in this article.

  • Web front-end server role   A computer configured with the Web front-end (WFE) server role hosts Web sites for end users. These sites accept search query requests from clients and render query results for those clients as Web pages. The WFE server role does not provide search functionality. However, a Search Server computer can host the application server role and WFE server role side by side. A single-server, stand-alone deployment is an example of this kind of configuration.

  • Database server role (Basic installations only)   When you install with the Basic installation option, Search Server automatically installs Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Express Edition on the same computer and uses it for data storage. (When you install with the Advanced installation option, Search Server does not install the database server role. Instead, an Advanced installation requires you to specify a SQL Server host.)

This section outlines the main differences and similarities between Search Server 2008 and Search Server 2008 Express deployments.

Search Server 2008 Express has the following distinguishing characteristics:

  • It allows one and only one application server in a deployment. On that server, both the index server role and the query server role are enabled automatically. You cannot have separate index and query servers in a Search Server 2008 Express deployment.

  • It is available as a free download from Microsoft, with no time restrictions. For information about downloading and installing Search Server 2008 Express from the Microsoft Enterprise Search Web site, see Install Search Server 2008 or Search Server 2008 Express.

In contrast, Search Server 2008 has the following main characteristics:

  • It enables you to deploy multiple application servers in a farm in order to separate the index server and query server roles to different computers. You can add query servers as the need arises. For more information, see Advantages of deploying separate query servers later in this article.

  • It requires a Product Key during installation.

Search Server 2008 and Search Server 2008 Express share the following characteristics:

  • Both products provide the option to deploy a single-server, stand-alone configuration that is fully functional. With either product, you set up this kind of configuration by choosing the Basic installation option. This option automatically installs all Search Server components and server roles, as well as Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Express Edition for data storage, on one computer. For more information about the Basic and Advanced installation options, see Choosing Basic or Advanced installation.

  • Both products, in any configuration, require one and only one index server in a deployment. This applies to Basic installations and Advanced installations, and to single-server and multiple-server deployments.

  • Both products require you to specify an existing SQL Server host for data storage when you choose the Advanced option during installation. SQL Server provides greater performance and indexing capacity than SQL Server 2005 Express Edition, which is installed automatically when you choose the Search Server Basic installation option. For information about database server requirements for a Search Server Advanced installation, see Prepare the database server later in this article.

  • Both products provide the option to add multiple WFE servers to an existing farm. After you install either product with the Advanced installation option on the first computer in a farm, you can install the same product on other computers that you want to add to the farm. Each time you install the product on another computer, you can configure that computer with the WFE server role and join that computer to the farm.

When you install Search Server 2008 or Search Server 2008 Express, you are prompted to specify the Basic or Advanced installation option. The main differences between Basic and Advanced installation are as follows:

A Basic installation is useful when you need:

  • A small-scale deployment with minimal administrative overhead

  • A development or test environment

  • A deployment for product evaluation

A Basic installation has the following main characteristics:

  • It installs Search Server for a single-server deployment. This fully functional configuration automatically enables the application server role and WFE server role on one stand-alone computer. There is no option to add computers to the deployment to create a multiple-server farm. (To use the computer as part of a multiple-server farm, you must uninstall Search Server and then run an Advanced installation on that computer with the appropriate options.)

  • It automatically installs and uses SQL Server 2005 Express Edition for data storage on the same computer with Search Server. SQL Server 2005 Express Edition is based on the SQL Server architecture, but it has the following limitations:

    • Supports one CPU only

    • Provides a maximum of 1 gigabyte (GB) of memory for the buffer pool

    • Does not support enterprise-level features

    • Limits maximum database size to 4 GB

      NoteNote:
      There is no limit to the number of documents that Search Server can index. However, the 4 GB maximum database size in SQL Server 2005 Express Edition can limit Search Server indexing capability to approximately 400,000 documents, depending on the size and type of the documents.
    • Uses default configuration settings.

On the first computer in a new Search Server deployment, the Advanced installation option installs the application server and WFE server roles. Together with a SQL Server host, which can be the same computer, this creates a fully functional Search Server configuration. For a production deployment, we recommend that you install Search Server 2008 with the Advanced installation option. This enables you to expand your farm as necessary to satisfy search requirements for your organization.

An Advanced installation has the following main characteristics:

  • Enables you to deploy a single-server farm initially, and then add multiple servers to an existing Search Server deployment to distribute the functionality and workload. Deploying a multiple-server farm helps to increase capacity, performance, and availability for the deployment.

    • After you install Microsoft Search Server 2008 Express on the first computer in a deployment, you can install it on other computers to add WFE servers to the deployment.

    • After you install Microsoft Search Server 2008 on the first computer in a deployment, you can install it on other computers to add application servers and WFE servers to the deployment.

      For more information about Search Server topology options, see Topology options later in this article.

  • Requires that you specify a SQL Server host, which can be a different computer from Search Server. SQL Server does not impose a limit on the number of documents that Search Server can index.

  • Provides other configuration options.

The following table briefly summarizes the preceding comparison of Search Server 2008 and Search Server 2008 Express features and installation options.

 

Basic installation option Advanced installation option

Search Server 2008 or Search Server 2008 Express:

Server roles

Provides a stand-alone deployment by installing all Search Server components and roles (application server, WFE server, and database server) on one computer.

On the first computer in a deployment, installs the application server role and WFE server role only.

Search Server 2008 or Search Server 2008 Express:

Database requirement

Automatically installs SQL Server 2005 Express Edition on the first server in a deployment.

During installation, requires that you specify an existing server that is running either Microsoft SQL Server 2005 with at least SP2, or SQL Server 2000 with at least SP3a. The database software can be installed on the same computer as Search Server, or on a different computer.

Search Server 2008 Express:

Scalability options

Limited to one stand-alone server that fulfills all server roles. Does not allow you to add servers to the deployment.

Provides one and only one application server in a deployment. Enables you to add WFE servers to a deployment.

Search Server 2008:

Scalability options

Limited to one stand-alone server that fulfills all server roles. Does not allow you to add servers to the deployment.

Enables you to add application servers (configured as query servers) and WFE servers to a deployment.

When you deploy the first computer in a Search Server farm, typically you install Search Server so that the computer is configured with the application server role and WFE server role. As the sole application server for the deployment, the computer is automatically configured as the index server and query server. This installation process is explained in Install Search Server 2008 or Search Server 2008 Express.

As previously mentioned, Search Server requires one and only one index server in a deployment. When you add an application server to a deployment, we recommend that you continue to use the first server in the deployment as the index server and you configure the new application server as a query server. Because indexing is so resource-intensive, we recommend that the first computer that you deploy for a multiple-server farm has the most power and storage capacity, or that it is second only to your database server in this respect.

In this section:

The following table shows sample topologies for various deployment sizes.

 

Size of deployment Installation option and scalability Server role details

Stand-alone:

One Search Server host computer with Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Express Edition installed on the same computer

Basic installation:

No scalability. Cannot be expanded to a multiple-server deployment.

  • The computer fulfills all roles for the deployment: application server, WFE server, and database server.

  • The application server role is automatically configured to function as both index server and query server.

Small:

One Search Server host computer with SQL Server installed on the same computer or on a different computer

Advanced installation:

Installing Search Server 2008 with the Advanced option on the first computer in a farm enables you to add application servers and WFE servers to the deployment at any time.

  • The Search Server host computer is configured with the application server role and WFE server role.

  • The application server role is automatically configured to function as both index server and query server.

Medium to large. Includes:

  • Multiple application servers

  • A dedicated SQL Server host

  • Optional: Servers configured with only the WFE server role

Advanced installation:

Installing Search Server 2008 with the Advanced option on each computer in the farm enables you to add application servers and WFE servers to the deployment at any time.

A multiple application server deployment contains one index server and one or more separate query servers.

To determine which topology option is best for your organization, consider the demands of your organization in areas such as the following:

  • Search availability

  • Search query volume

  • System performance

The following section provides information about how deploying separate query servers can address requirements in these areas.

Installing Search Server 2008 or Search Server 2008 Express with the Basic installation option creates a stand-alone deployment. A single computer fulfills the role of application server and WFE server. Because there is only one application server, computer resources for indexing content and serving search queries must be shared. In addition, if the computer is unavailable, Search Server cannot index content or serve queries until the computer becomes available again.

However, if you install the first computer in a deployment with the Search Server 2008 Advanced installation option, you can add application servers to the deployment at any time to increase capacity, performance, and availability.

In a farm with multiple application servers, you must configure those servers in the following way:

  • Configure one and only application server with the index server role but not the query server role.

  • Configure each of the other application servers with the query server role but not the index server role.

Thus, when you add an application server to a stand-alone deployment, resources of one computer are used for indexing, and resources of the other computer are used for serving search queries. In this way, more computer resources can be devoted to each server role than in a stand-alone deployment.

This configuration also provides greater availability than a stand-alone deployment. As Search Server crawls and indexes content, it automatically propagates the content index from the index server to the query server. The query server serves search queries from its own copy of the index. In this configuration, if the index server is unavailable, the query server continues to serve search queries from the index that was most recently propagated. Conversely, if the query server is unavailable, a search services administrator can configure the index server to serve queries. The administrator can then rejoin the query server to the farm when the query server is available again. At this point, the content index automatically resumes propagating from the index server to the query server. (The time required for this propagation varies depending upon the size of the index. A content index can contain many gigabytes of data, depending on how much content has been crawled.)

As your availability, capacity, and performance requirements increase, you can add more query servers. The content index automatically propagates to each query server in the deployment. Each query server serves queries from its own copy of the index. If a query server is unavailable, Search Server automatically diverts all queries to other query servers. Moreover, Search Server automatically balances the load among all query servers.

For information about how to add query servers to a farm, see Add query servers to expand a farm (Search Server 2008).

When you deploy Search Server 2008 in a multiple-server configuration, you must provide credentials for certain user accounts. These accounts are required for installation, administration, and operation of Search Server 2008 and the associated database server. These account requirements are described in the following table. For more information about account requirements, see Plan for administrative and service accounts (Search Server 2008).

 

Account When used Account requirements Account purpose

SQL Server service account

  • SQL Server installation

  • Search Server Advanced installation

Must be a domain user account

Account under which the following SQL Server services run:

  • SQL Server (MSSQLSERVER)

  • SQL Server Agent (MSSQLSERVER)

If you are not using the default SQL Server instance, these services are shown as:

  • SQL Server (MSSQL$InstanceName)

  • SQL Server Agent (SQLAgent$InstanceName)

User account for current logon session

Search Server installation

  • Must be a domain user account

  • Must be a member of the local administrators group (after installation, the account can be removed from the local administrators group)

  • Must be the same account on each farm server on which you install Search Server

Used to install Search Server on each computer in the farm

Server farm account (also called the database access account)

Search Server Advanced installation (Specify Configuration Database Settings dialog box)

  • Must be a domain user account

  • Need not be a member of any Windows security group

  • In accordance with the principle of least privilege, we recommend using an account that is not a member of the local administrators group on any application server, WFE server, or database server in your Search Server farm.

Used for all of the following:

  • Application pool identity of the Web application that contains the Central Administration site

  • Windows SharePoint Services Timer (SPTimerV3) service.

  • SQL Server configuration database access

  • The Search Server installation program also adds this account to the SQL Server Logins, the SQL Server Database Creator server role, and the SQL Server Security Administrators server role.

Default account for services

Search Server Configuration page that appears immediately following Search Server Advanced installation

Must be a domain user account

Used for all of the following:

  • Application pool identity of the Web application that contains the Search Administration site

  • Office SharePoint Server Search (OSearch) service

  • Windows SharePoint Services Search (SPSearch) service

Search Center account

Search Server Configuration page that appears immediately following Search Server Advanced installation

Must be a domain user account

Application pool identity of the Web application that contains the Search Center site

The database server must have Microsoft SQL Server 2005 with at least SP2, or SQL Server 2000 with at least SP3a. Some advanced features require SQL Server 2005 Analysis Services with at least SP2. For information about the hardware and software required to deploy a database server running SQL Server 2005, see SQL Server 2005 System Requirements.

NoteNote:
For best performance, we recommend that you deploy a dedicated database server.

If you are using SQL Server 2005, you must configure the surface area settings to enable remote connections, as described in the following procedure. For more information, see How to configure SQL Server 2005 to allow remote connections.

To enable remote connections in SQL Server 2005
  1. Log on to the SQL Server 2005 host using an account that is a member of the local administrators group.

  2. Click Start, point to All Programs, point to Microsoft SQL Server 2005, point to Configuration Tools, and then click SQL Server Surface Area Configuration.

  3. In the SQL Server 2005 Surface Area Configuration dialog box, click Surface Area Configuration for Services and Connections.

  4. On the Surface Area Configuration for Services and Connections page, perform the following tasks:

    1. In the tree view, expand the node for your instance of SQL Server, expand the Database Engine node, and then click Remote Connections.

    2. Select Local and Remote Connections, select Using both TCP/IP and named pipes, and then click Apply.

    3. When you receive the message Changes to Connection Settings will not take effect until you restart the Database Engine service, click OK.

    4. In the tree view, under the node for your instance of SQL Server, under Database Engine, click Service, and then click Stop.

    5. After the MSSQLSERVER service stops, click Start to restart the service.

  5. Click Apply.

  6. Click OK to close the Surface Area Configuration for Services and Connections dialog box.

  7. Close the SQL Server 2005 Surface Area Configuration dialog box.

For Search Server compatibility and consistency with Windows operating system file naming conventions, SQL Server collation must be configured as follows:

  • Case-insensitive

  • Accent-sensitive

  • Kana-sensitive

  • Width-sensitive

ImportantImportant:
During Search Server installation, the SharePoint Products and Technologies Wizard cannot proceed beyond a certain point if SQL Server is not configured with the proper collation settings.

For more information, see Selecting a SQL Collation and Collation Settings in Setup in SQL Server Books Online.

During a typical installation, Search Server creates the configuration and content databases that it needs. However, in many IT environments a database administrator (DBA) is responsible for database creation and management. In such environments, the DBA can create Search Server databases before product installation so that Search Server can be deployed using those databases.

  • Uninstalling a Search Server Advanced installation does not delete existing Search Server databases. If you reinstall Search Server on the same computer and you do not delete existing Search Server databases, you might be prompted to delete existing databases or specify different databases.

  • A Basic installation cannot be converted to an Advanced configuration. If you run a Basic installation and later you want to use features offered only in an Advanced installation, you must uninstall the Basic installation and then run an Advanced installation with the appropriate options.

  • Uninstalling Search Server from the first computer you deployed in a farm might cause problems in the farm. This is because the first computer is typically the index server and also hosts the Central Administration Web site. We recommend that you choose a different server if you want to uninstall Search Server from a computer in your farm.

  • You must install the same language packs on all servers that are configured with the WFE role in a Search Server farm. For more information about installing language packs, see Deploy language packs (Search Server 2008).

  • All servers in a Search Server farm must be in the same language. For example, you cannot have both an English version and a Japanese version of Search Server in the same farm.

  • If you place a query server and index server on opposite sides of a firewall, you must open the NetBIOS ports (TCP/UDP ports 137, 138, and 139) on each firewall that separates these servers. If your environment does not use NetBIOS, you must use direct-hosted server message block (SMB). This requires that you open the TCP/UDP 445 port.

  • On all WFE servers that you deploy in your farm, you must install Search Server on the same drive.

  • Installing Search Server on a domain controller might require additional configuration steps.

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