Server Farm Basics

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Figure 1 shows the diagram of the server farm and network set upby the Internet Platform and Operations group. The followingsections will discuss the implementation of this Windows SharePointServices server farm in more detail.

All Internet Protocol (IP) addresses in this paper are fictitiousand are listed as examples only. The public IP address of theInternet Space network used in this paper is not the IP address ofthe actual deployment described. For the purpose of this paper, theIP address of the Internet Space network will be, theIP address of the Front End network will be, and the IPaddress of the Back End network will be storage area network (SAN) is one physical unit, but ispartitioned so that each of the two Microsoft SQL Server clustersuses distinct SAN partitions.For details about the hardware and software used in this serverfarm, see the first white paper in this series, Windows SharePoint Services Hosting Configuration and Experience .

The following terms are used in this paper and may be unfamiliarto some users:

  • Edge network A network that connectsan Internet data center and a corporate network.

  • NAT (Network Address Translation) Analias IP address that identifies a specific node managed by theBIG-IP controller to the external network.

  • Predictive mode A dynamic loadbalancing mode that bases connection distribution on a combinationof two factors: number of connections and response time. Serversthat currently host the fewest connections and also have thefastest response times will be assigned more connections.Predictive mode also ranks server performance over time, and passesconnection to servers that exhibit an improvement rather than adecline.

  • SNAT (Secure Network AddressTranslation) A routable alias IP address thatone or more nodes can use as a source IP address when makingconnections to hosts on the external network.

Figure 1: Server Farm Configuration


  1. Public DNS servers

  2. Internet

  3. Router (Cisco Systems)

  4. Load balancer (F5 Networks BIG-IP)

  5. Load balancer (F5 Networks BIG-IP)

  6. Front-end Web server farm (six servers)

  7. SMTP and DNS server

  8. Terminal services, debugging, and administration server

  9. SQL Server server 1

  10. SQL Server server 2

  11. SQL Server server 3

  12. SQL Server server 4

  13. SAN unit (Hewlett Packard)

  14. Active Directory domain controller 1

  15. Active Directory domain controller 2

  16. MOM server

  17. Backup server (Veritas software)

  18. Backup tape device

  19. HTML transformation server

  20. Imaging and installation server (Altiris deploymentserver)

  21. Router (Cisco Systems)

  22. Edge network