Design records management topology

SharePoint 2007

Updated: April 23, 2009

Applies To: Office SharePoint Server 2007

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Topic Last Modified: 2017-01-25

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You should determine the number of farms that will host Records Center sites based on your enterprise's organizational and geographical boundaries, rather than based on security or capacity planning considerations. By using the Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 security model, you can deploy multiple Web applications in a single farm, each of which hosts sites with unique authorization and access control configurations. By using the guidelines described in Plan security hardening for server roles within a server farm (Office SharePoint Server), you can help secure your servers for their specific roles in your topology. By doing this, you do not need to deploy separate farms to isolate Records Center sites.

You do not need to add farms to accommodate a greater number of records. As described in Design Records Center architecture, you can associate a separate database with each Records Center site in a server farm. When a Records Center site reaches its capacity limit, you can split the storage allocation based on some criteria — for example, record type — and add Records Center sites and associated databases. For a full discussion of capacity planning in Office SharePoint Server 2007, see Plan for performance and capacity (Office SharePoint Server).

The number of farms you deploy for records management is based on your organizational or geographical requirements. The following list describes typical examples:

  • An organization's human resources department, for legal or organizational reasons, might want to retain records such as employee time card information and performance data in its own server farm.

  • A small organization, for economic reasons, might decide to use the same farm for managing active documents and for hosting Records Center sites.

  • Branches of an enterprise that are geographically distributed might need to implement local server farms to manage records in each region.

Work with business decision makers, records managers, content managers, compliance officers, and other stakeholders in your organization to determine the best server farm strategy based on your organizational and geographical requirements.

When you plan a server farm for records management and design your topology, consider the following issues:

  • The primary purpose of the farm is to store large numbers of items, so you will need a large database capacity.

  • Site usage is typically low, so you will have low concurrent usage and response-time requirements for Web servers. Most site activity will be records submissions and records managers' site operations. On the other hand, if you are implementing a more interactive Records Center solution — for example, one in which information workers browse the site or view site metrics — the sites will be more actively used and you might need to increase front-end capacity.

  • Search is a primary tool of records management, so you should dedicate an application server to index the large body of content stored in the server farm.

A typical records management topology is a medium server farm topology, which consists of one or two database servers, an application server that runs Office SharePoint Server 2007 and Internet Information Services (IIS), and one or two Web servers that run Office SharePoint Server 2007 and Internet Information Services (IIS). In this configuration, the application server provides indexing services and, optionally, Excel Services, and the Web servers service search queries and provide access to the pages and documents that are hosted on the farm's Web sites. For a full description of deploying a medium server farm, see Deploy in a simple server farm (Office SharePoint Server).

The following illustration shows a typical records management topology.

Records Management network topology

The following table describes the elements that are labeled with a callout in the illustration.


Callout Element


Hardware-based or software-based firewall.


Router. Some routers include firewall features.


Front-end servers.


Application server for indexing.


Database servers.