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Plan search service applications (FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint)

FAST Search Server 2010

Published: March 17, 2011

A Search Service Application (SSA) is a logical grouping of search service components within the Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 farm that can be consumed by remote SharePoint farms. This means that remote farms may utilize search using an SSA on a parent farm.

In a Microsoft FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint deployment you will find two different SSAs on the parent SharePoint farm, a FAST Query Search Service Application (SSA) and a FAST Content Search Service Application (SSA). The parent SharePoint farm interfaces with the FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint farm through these two SSAs.

Important Important:

You must deploy the SSAs on different servers than FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint farm.

FAST Query Search Service Application (SSA)

This SSA provides the query-side integration between the FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint farm and the parent SharePoint farm.

The Query SSA provides the following functionality:

  • Serves as a gateway between a local or remote front-end Web server and the FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint farm

  • Contains query and crawl components for the people search functionality

Important Important:

People Search queries are evaluated within the Query SSA. All other queries are evaluated within the FAST Search for SharePoint farm.

You install and deploy the Query SSA on a SharePoint Application server within the parent SharePoint Server farm.

Important Important:

You must only deploy one Query SSA associated with your FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint farm. You can scale out the Query SSA across multiple servers for performance and failover.

For information about deployment and configuration of the FAST Query SSA, see Create and set up the Query Search Service Application (FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint).

FAST Content Search Service Application (SSA)

This SSA enables retrieving (crawling) content for indexing from content repositories. The Content SSA represents the default indexing connector for your FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint deployment.

The Content SSA can retrieve content from almost any content source, such as SharePoint farms, Web servers, file shares and Exchange public folders.

Important Important:

You must only deploy one Content SSA associated with your FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint farm. You can scale out the Content SSA across multiple servers for performance and failover.

For information about deployment and configuration of the FAST Content SSA, see Create and set up the Content Search Service Application (FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint).

Important Important:

FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint provides a set of additional indexing connectors for advanced content retrieval use cases. For more details, see Plan for crawling and federation (FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint).

Differences from SharePoint Server Search

There are two alternatives for enterprise search in SharePoint Server 2010.

  • SharePoint Server 2010 search is an integrated search solution within the SharePoint Server 2010 farm, and is deployed as a single Search Service Application within the farm. In this case the query and crawl components are running within the same SSA.

    note Note:

    If you use the single-server SharePoint Server 2010 installation option, SharePoint Server 2010 search will automatically be deployed on your farm. If you later deploy FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint, this SSA will continue to appear on the SharePoint Server 2010 Search Administration page, but is not used.

  • FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint replace the standard SharePoint Server 2010 search, and will appear on the SharePoint Server 2010 Search Administration page as two SSAs. In this case key parts of the search functionality take place in the FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint farm, but certain parts are performed in the Query SSA and content SSA as described earlier in this article.

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