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We have 2 wfe, and 2 AS. We have 18,000 sites worth 500GB of data in 5 content DBs We have continuous crawl enabled every 15 minutes, but every crawl takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes.

We have about 7 million searchable items. We need to improve the crawl rate, in my opinion its too low (4.3)

Question : How can the crawl rate be improved? Add servers that do only crawling and content processing for example?

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Hey Luis! I've been looking at this myself and came across this article about FAST (what's now integrated into SP2013):… – Cameron Verhelst Feb 3 '14 at 12:46
hey dude, long time no see! :) thanks for that I will read it! – Esteban V Feb 3 '14 at 12:51
Indeed! You're welcome, basicly he shows how you can trouble shoot the issue and in his case it had to do with a network bottle neck caused by configurations specific to his system being on a VM, if I'm correct. Good luck! – Cameron Verhelst Feb 3 '14 at 12:54
up vote 3 down vote accepted

You could consider using dedicated servers for search. There are guidance on Technet regarding the relatively new "best practice" physical topology called Streamlined Topologies, where one setup is using a dedicated server for search.

Streamlined topologies is an attempt to make the server topology more simple, and configure it based on latency/cpu/ram usage rather than the older topology that was more designed with roles in mind.

You could choose to run a dedicated setup for search to free resources for indexing. In a typical Streamlined setup, it is recommended to scale search out on dedicated servers when going above 2 batch servers (roughly translates to App servers in the old application server topology).

Also read the hardware requirements for search topologies in the article "Scale search for performance and availability.." to be sure that especially your server running index component has enough RAM.

Streamlined topologies.

Streamlined topologies topology examples.

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