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Our environment has 2 web front ends, 1 application server and 1 SQL server.

If the Application server (which has central admin) is offline will the front ends still serve content?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

A web front end should still serve regular content, but would not be able to take advantage of any of the additional services that might be running on that app server.

That could include things like BDC/BCS connections, search if the query role is not on the front ends, Managed Meta-Data, etc. Are you looking to do short term maintenance or would this be for hours/days/weeks?

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Thanks Mike. Its just a short term maintenance so that's a positive. –  dmce Sep 21 '11 at 14:08

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