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Multiple servers for a three-tier farm (SharePoint Server 2010)

 

Applies to: SharePoint Server 2010, SharePoint Foundation 2010

Topic Last Modified: 2012-05-16

You can install Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 on multiple servers to create a Microsoft SharePoint Server farm that is deployed across three tiers.

The farm consists of two front-end Web servers, an application server, and a database server. The deployment sequence and configurations that are described in this article are based on recommended best practices. The resulting farm configuration is not complex, but provides a fundamental infrastructure for implementing a SharePoint Server solution on similar — or more complex — farms.

The farm is provisioned with Search Service Application; Search is configured to crawl the content that is created as part of this deployment.

tipTip
We recommend that you use the Configure SharePoint Server 2010 in a Three-Tier Farm Test Lab Guide before you deploy the farm. This guide, which identifies the required steps and recommended sequence to deploy the farm, is a valuable tool for validating your deployment plan.

In this article:

The basic steps in this deployment are as follows:

  • Ensure that you are familiar with the concept of a three-tier topology.

  • Ensure that you have done all the planning and preparatory work, such as verifying hardware and software requirements.

  • Install the required software updates on all servers that will be part of the farm.

  • Install the SharePoint Server prerequisites on servers in the application and Web tiers.

  • Install SharePoint Server on the application server and the Web servers.

  • Create and configure the SharePoint farm.

  • Provision services.

  • Complete post-deployment tasks as required.

This topology is typically used for the medium and large farms described in Deployment overview (SharePoint Server 2010). In terms of performance, capacity, and scalability, a three-tier topology is recommended over a two-tier topology. A three-tier topology provides the most efficient physical and logical layout to support scaling out or scaling up, and provides better distribution of services across the member servers of the farm. The following illustration shows the three-tier deployment that is described in this article.

SharePoint Server 2010: three tier topology

Referring to the preceding illustration, note the following:

  • You can add Web servers to the Web tier. These servers can be configured as conventional Web servers to handle user requests, or they can be configured to host dedicated query components or other service components.

  • You can add farm servers to the application tier and configure them as dedicated servers that will host the Central Administration Web site or other services on the farm that require dedicated resources or isolation from the Web tier — for example, crawl components, query components, and profile pages.

  • You can add database servers to the database tier to implement a stand-alone instance, database mirroring, or a failover cluster. If you are configuring the farm for high availability, database mirroring or a failover cluster is required on the database tier.

Before you begin deployment, do the following:

The Microsoft SharePoint Products Preparation Tool checks for the presence of prerequisites, and installs and configures any programs that are required. The Microsoft SharePoint Products Preparation Tool requires an Internet connection to download and configure SharePoint Server prerequisites. If you do not have an Internet connection for the farm servers, you will have to obtain installable images for the required software. For installation locations, see Installing software prerequisites in "Determine hardware and software requirements (SharePoint Server 2010)."

If you decide to obtain installable images, 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.

Ensure that SQL Server 2005 or SQL Server 2008 is updated to the required level and configured as follows:

  • SQL Server 2005: Local and remote connections are enabled and are configured to use the TCP/IP protocol.

  • SQL Server 2008: The TCP/IP protocol is enabled for the network configuration.

In organizations whose database administrators operate independently from SharePoint administrators, you will need to ensure that the correct version of SQL Server is available and updated to the required level. In addition, you will have to request a DBA-created database that is configured for your farm.

noteNote
The procedures in this article do not use a DBA-created database; these procedures will be different in a DBA-created database deployment. For more information, see Deploy by using DBA-created databases (SharePoint Server 2010).

Ensure that public updates and the required hotfix packages are installed for the operating system, SQL Server, and SharePoint Server. We recommend that all servers be updated to the same software version before you apply the public updates. The following hotfixes must be applied for this release of SharePoint Server:

Before you install SharePoint Server , you must check for and install all the prerequisites on the application server and the Web servers by using the Microsoft SharePoint Products Preparation Tool.

tipTip
If you decide to install prerequisites manually, you can still run the Microsoft SharePoint Products Preparation Tool to verify which prerequisites are required on each server.

Use the following procedure to install prerequisites on each of the farm servers.

To run the preparation tool
  1. Download SharePoint Server 2010 (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkId=168780) from the product installation location, and then double-click the appropriate executable file.

  2. If you install from a bootable image, click Install software prerequisites on the splash screen.

    noteNote
    You can download all of the prerequisites and install them from a network share. For more information, see Install prerequisites from a network share (SharePoint Server 2010).
  3. On the Welcome to the Microsoft SharePoint Products Preparation Tool page, click Next.

    noteNote
    The preparation tool may have to restart the local server to complete the installation of some of the prerequisites. The installer will continue to run after the server is restarted, and no manual intervention is required. However, you will have to log back on to the server.
  4. On the Installation Complete page, click Finish.

    noteNote
    After you complete the Microsoft SharePoint Products Preparation Tool, you must install KB 949516 (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkId=148917) and KB 971831 (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkID=165750). You might also need to restart the server after installing this hotfix.
    noteNote
    If the error message "Loading this assembly would produce a different grant set from other instances. (Exception from HRESULT: 0x80131401)" is displayed when you start the IIS worker process (w3wp.exe), another service, or a managed application on a server that is also running SharePoint Server 2010, you must install KB963676 (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkId=151358). You must restart the computer after you apply this hotfix.

After the prerequisites are installed, use the following procedure to install SharePoint Server on each of the farm servers.

To run Setup
  1. On the Start page, click Install Office SharePoint Server Install SharePoint Foundation.

  2. On the Read the Microsoft Software License Terms page, review the terms, select the I accept the terms of this agreement check box, and then click Continue.

  3. On the Choose the installation you want page, click Server Farm.

  4. On the Server Type tab, click Complete.

  5. On the File Location tab, accept the default location or change the installation path, and then click Install Now.

    noteNote
    As a best practice, we recommend that you install SharePoint Server on a non-system drive.
  6. When Setup finishes, a dialog box prompts you to complete the configuration of your server. Clear the Run the SharePoint Products and Technologies Configuration Wizard now check box.

    noteNote
    For consistency of approach, we recommend that you do not run the configuration wizard until SharePoint Server has been installed on all application and front-end Web servers that will participate in the server farm.
  7. Click Close to finish Setup.

To create and configure the farm, you run the SharePoint Products Configuration Wizard. This wizard automates several configuration tasks, including creating the configuration database, installing services, and creating the Central Administration Web site. It is recommended that you run the SharePoint Products Configuration Wizard on the server that will host the Central Administration Web site before you run the wizard on the other servers in the farm.

To run the configuration wizard and configure the farm
  1. On the server that will host Central Administration (the application server), click Start, point to All Programs, and then click Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Products.

  2. In the list of available options, click SharePoint Products and Technologies Configuration Wizard.

  3. On the Welcome to SharePoint Products and Technologies page, click Next.

  4. In the dialog box that notifies you that some services might need to be restarted during configuration, click Yes.

  5. On the Connect to a server farm page, click Create a new server farm, and then click Next.

  6. On the Specify Configuration Database Settings page, do the following:

    1. In the Database server box, type the name of the computer that is running SQL Server.

    2. In the Database name box, type a name for your configuration database, or use the default database name. The default name is SharePoint_Config.

    3. In the Username box, type the user name of the server farm account in DOMAIN\username format.

      importantImportant
      The server farm account is used to create and access your configuration database. It also acts as the application pool identity account for the SharePoint Central Administration application pool, and it is the account under which the Windows SharePoint Services Timer service runs. The SharePoint Products Configuration Wizard adds this account to the SQL Server Login accounts, the SQL Server dbcreator server role, and the SQL Server securityadmin server role. The user account that you specify as the service account must be a domain user account, but it does not need to be a member of any specific security group on your Web servers or your database servers. We recommend that you follow the principle of least privilege, and specify a user account that is not a member of the Administrators group on your Web servers or your database servers.
    4. In the Password box, type the user password.

  7. Click Next.

  8. On the Specify Farm Security Settings page, type a passphrase, and then click Next.

    Ensure that the passphrase meets the following criteria:

    • Contains at least eight characters

    • Contains at least three of the following four character groups:

      • English uppercase characters (from A through Z)

      • English lowercase characters (from a through z)

      • Numerals (from 0 through 9)

      • Nonalphabetic characters (such as !, $, #, %)

      noteNote
      Although a passphrase is similar to a password, it is usually longer to enhance security. It is used to encrypt credentials of accounts that are registered in SharePoint Server 2010. For example, the SharePoint Server 2010 system account that you provide when you run the SharePoint Products Configuration Wizard wizard. Ensure that you remember the passphrase, because you must use it each time you add a server to the farm.
  9. On the Configure SharePoint Central Administration Web Application page, do the following:

    1. Either select the Specify port number check box and type a port number if you want the SharePoint Central Administration Web application to use a specific port number, or leave the Specify port number check box cleared if you want to use the default port number.

      noteNote
      If you want to access the SharePoint Central Administration Web site from a remote computer, ensure that you allow access to the port number that you configure in this step. You do this by configuring the inbound rule for SharePoint Central Administration v4 in Windows Firewall with Advanced Security.
    2. Click either NTLM or Negotiate (Kerberos).

  10. Click Next.

  11. On the Configuration Successful page, click Finish.

    noteNote
    If the SharePoint Products Configuration Wizard fails, check the log files on the drive on which SharePoint Server 2010 is installed, which are located in the %COMMONPROGRAMFILES%\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\14\LOGS folder.
  12. The Central Administration Web site will open in a new browser window.

    On the Help Make SharePoint Better page, click one of the following options and then click OK.

    1. Yes, I am willing to participate (Recommended).

    2. No, I don’t wish to participate.

  13. On the Configure your SharePoint farm page, you have the option to use a wizard to configure services or you can decide to configure services manually. For the purpose of this article, we use the manual option. Click Cancel.

    The choice you make here is a matter of personal preference. The Farm Configuration Wizard will configure some services automatically when it is run; however, if you configure services manually you have greater flexibility in designing your logical architecture.

    For information about using the wizard to configure services, see Configure services (SharePoint Server 2010). If you are using Microsoft Office Web Apps, see Office Web Apps (Installed on SharePoint 2010 Products).

    importantImportant
    If you are using a DBA-created database you cannot use the Farm Configuration Wizard, you must use SharePoint Products Configuration Wizard.

After you create the farm on the application server, you can add the servers for the Web tier by following the same process described earlier in this topic for installing SharePoint Server on the server that hosts Central Administration. The only difference is that during Setup, you will be prompted to join and existing farm. Follow the wizard steps to join the farm.

For additional information about adding servers to a farm, see Add a Web or application server to the farm (SharePoint Server 2010). This article also provides detailed information for the steps in the following procedure.

After you add the front-end Web servers, configure initial diagnostic logging and usage and health data collection for the farm.

Diagnostic logging can help identify and isolate issues as they occur in your server farm. Accept the default settings when you configure diagnostic logging on new installations. Then, when issues occur in your server farm, you can revisit these settings and adjust the levels accordingly. This will help to identify the cause and isolate the issues. Usage and health reporting can be used to show where diagnostic logging settings deviate from the default values.

For more information about diagnostic and health usage, see:

Use the following procedures to complete the initial configuration of diagnostic logging and usage and health data collection.

noteNote
Because this is an initial farm deployment without any benchmark data, default settings are accepted unless otherwise noted.
To configure diagnostic logging
  1. On the Central Administration Home page, click Monitoring.

  2. In the Reporting section, click Configure diagnostic logging.

  3. On the Diagnostic Logging page, verify that Enable Event Log Flood Protection is selected. If not, click the corresponding check box to enable this feature.

  4. The default location for the trace log is on the drive where you installed SharePoint Server. As a best practice, we recommend that the trace log be stored on a non-system drive.

    importantImportant
    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.
  5. Click OK to save your changes.

After you finish configuring diagnostic logging, configure usage and health data collection.

To configure usage and health data collection
  • On the Central Administration Monitoring page, click Configure usage and health data collection.

  • Click the check box to enable Usage Data Collection.

  • Click the check box to enable Health Data Collection.

  • Click OK.

As a best practice, we recommend that you install search components on the Web and application tiers in order to optimize performance by distributing the load placed on the servers in the farm. To distribute search components across the farm tiers, you must follow these steps:

  • Create a new Search Service Application

  • Move the query components to the Web tier

For more information about service applications, see:

To create a Search Service Application
  1. On the server that hosts the Central Administration Web site, open Central Administration.

  2. Under the Application Management section, click Manage service applications.

  3. On the ribbon, click New, and then click Search Service Application.

  4. On the Create New Search Service Application page, accept the default value for Name, or type in a new name for the search service application.

  5. For the Search Service Account, accept the default for the farm, or create a new account for the Search Service. For more information about farm accounts, see Initial deployment administrative and service accounts (SharePoint Server 2010).

    securitySecurity Note
    We recommend that you create a new account for the Search Service. If you accept the default account, the Search Service will use the highly privileged farm administrator account. This is not recommended because the content access account, which defaults to the Search Service account, would crawl all the drafts and Help files in your corpus, thus exposing all content in the search results.
  6. For the Application Pool for Search Admin Web Service, accept the default (Create new application pool), and then type a name for the application pool.

  7. For the Application Pool for Search Query and Site Settings Web Service, use the same application pool that you created for the Search Admin Web Service. Click Use existing application pool, and then select the pool name from the drop-down list.

  8. Click OK.

After you create a Search Service Application, the result is a topology where the search administration and crawl components are configured on the server that hosts the Central Administration Web site. The next step is to move the query components to the servers on the Web tier, the crawl and property store (query) databases are provisioned on the SQL server instance that was specified for the SharePoint Server farm.

importantImportant
The search administration component cannot be moved to another server: it resides on the server where the Search Service Application was created. There can only be one search administration component per farm.
To move the query component to a Web server
  1. On the Central Administration Home page, click Manage service applications.

  2. On the Services Applications page, click Search Service Application.

  3. On the Search Administration page, in the Search Application Topology section, click Modify.

  4. On the Topology for Search Service Application: Search Service Application page, in the Index Partition section, click Query component 0, and then click Edit Properties.

  5. On the Edit Query Component page, select one of the front-end Web servers from the Server drop-down list, and then click OK.

  6. On the Topology for Search Service Application: Search Service Application page, in the Index Partition section, click Query component 0, and then click Add mirror.

    noteNote
    A query component mirror is a replica of the index partition on another server — in this case, on one of the front-end Web servers.
  7. On the Add mirror query component page, in the Server drop-down list, select the front-end Web server that you identified on the Edit Query Component page, and then click OK.

  8. Repeat the preceding steps and configure the second front-end Web server as a host for a query component and its mirror.

To create a site during this phase of the deployment, you must create a Web application and a site collection. Use the procedures in the following articles to create a Web application by using Central Administration, and then create a top-level Web site that is associated with the Web application.

The final step is to identify a content source for search, and then configure the initial and incremental crawl schedule.

Use the following procedure to add a content source and configure the crawl schedule. In this procedure, the default content source is used for configuring crawl, but you can choose a different content source in your environment.

To add a content source and configure a crawl schedule
  1. On the Central Administration Home page, click Manage service applications in the Application Management section.

  2. On the Service Applications tab, click Search Service Application

  3. On the Search Administration page, in the Crawling section, click Content Sources.

  4. On the Manage Content Sources page, Local SharePoint sites are displayed as the available content source. You can configure crawl for the existing source, or click New Content Source to add a content source.

    noteNote
    For the purpose of this article, the default source is used for configuring crawl.
  5. Click Local SharePoint sites.

  6. On the Edit Content Source page, click Create schedule in the Full Crawl section.

    On the Manage Schedules page, configure the type of schedule and the schedule settings that you want to use.

  7. On the Edit Content Source page, click Create schedule in the Incremental Crawl section.

    On the Manage Schedules page, configure the type of schedule and the schedule settings that you want to use.

  8. Click Start full crawl of this content source.

  9. Click OK.

After you install and configure SharePoint Server 2010, your browser window opens to the Central Administration Web site of your new SharePoint site. Although you can start adding content to the site or customizing the site, we recommend that you first perform the following administrative tasks by using the SharePoint Central Administration Web site.

  • Configure outgoing e-mail You can configure outgoing e-mail so that your Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) server sends e-mail alerts to site users and notifications to site administrators. You can configure both the "From" e-mail address and the "Reply" e-mail address that appear in outgoing alerts. For more information, see Configure outgoing e-mail (SharePoint Server 2010).

    noteNote
    You can configure incoming e-mail so that SharePoint sites accept and archive incoming e-mail. However, we recommend that you undertake this task after you complete the initial farm deployment and configuration. For more information, see Configure incoming e-mail (SharePoint Server 2010).
  • Configure a mobile account   You can configure a mobile account so that SharePoint sends text message (SMS) alerts to your, or site users', mobile phones. For more information, see Configure a mobile account (SharePoint Server 2010).

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