I'm about to deploy a medium SharePoint 2013 farm. I have five servers in total, I'll use 2 of them for the database (high-availability).

I have to plan the distribution of SharePoint role/services on the 3 other servers. Those servers are identical from an hardware point of view and all with 24GB of RAM.

The idea is to run all services in the 3 servers, including the Search, and making all 3 front-end servers as well. The reasons for choosing this configuration would be that:

  • >10000 users accessing the farm
  • To guarantee high availability of the services
  • I won't have much resources running on the farm

I don't know exactly which problems that can arise from this configuration... bad performances, the config is not mentioned on the official diagrams, I know some of the services (e.g. DistrCache and Search Components) aren't compatible, the fact that everything will be more "exposed" due to the fact that each server will be a front-end server as well.

What do you suggest? Thank you!!!! :)


One problem that can arise is running the Distributed cache on more than four servers. It's recommended to have them on four or less servers. http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj891124%28v=office.15%29.aspx

Also the UPS sync service can only run on one of the serves.

Search Server should run with no issues, but the performance may suffer if you're crawling a lot.

I think you should be ok, just keep in mind all the above. Better yet, if you have the resources add another server and divide the farm into 2. 2 wfe and 2 application servers.

  • I'll run the distributed cache only on the three SharePoint servers, and no UPS on this farm, so thank you!! – Mafalda89 Dec 23 '14 at 18:02

Following thing should be consider during the planning.

  • How much Content will be stored in SharePoint
  • How many Items for Search will crawl
  • Peak time user load, unique users
  • how much cutomizations will be deployed in farm.
  • what services you need(UPA,MMS, ECS etc)
  • Workflows
  • Social features

What I believe, if i have one more server for SharePoint then it will be great.

  • DB servers will be fine
  • I would make 2 server WFE as Load Balanced
  • Make 2 Server as App
  • Search Crawl Will be run on the one App Server and Query on both WFE
  • UPA SYnc will be run on 2nd App Server
  • Distributed cache runs on 2 APP server
  • Workflow Manager Should be install on either App Server and you need to install WF Manager Client on all other servers.

But with the 3 SharePoint server and making them WFE along with running all services on the WFE....I am pretty much sure you will see the big performance hit for end user while search crawl, user profile crawl and other back end activities. I would recommend you at least make one server as App server and 2 WFE.

  • 1
    I don't know if I understood correctly but since I have 3 servers dedicated to SharePoint I cannot make 2 of them wfe and 2 of them app server, right? Thank you – Mafalda89 Dec 23 '14 at 18:04
  • If you read my answer,I clearly said, if i have one more server(that's mean total 4) then that will be my configuration. – Waqas Sarwar MVP Dec 24 '14 at 0:32
  • Thank you very much then! also for your added comment :) If I make only one App server the search index won't be redundant right? – Mafalda89 Dec 24 '14 at 9:26

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