How to move SharePoint 2013 WEB server to new server?

Having two tire structure.

  1. WEB server (OS - Windows 2012 STD)
  2. SQL server (OS - Windows 2012 STD)

I need to move web server only to new server, pointing to existing SQL server. What is the best practice?


1 Answer 1


The best approach IMO would be to:

  1. Setup the new server with OS and SP
  2. Launch the SP configuration Wizard on this new server
  3. Make it join the existing farm, i.e. make it point to the same config DB (and obviously same SQL server) as the first Web-front.
  4. Don't forget to choose to host the Central Admin on this new server (you're asked for this during the wizard). You'll also be asked for the passphrase you entered at the time you created the farm.
  5. Once everything is setup, start all services you need on this second server (from CA, Services on server). This will ensure you don't lose any services when you shut down the first one. At the worst, this can be done later.
  6. Once you checked everything is fine on this new server, redirect your DNS to point to it.
  7. It means now the first server is useless. You can disconnect it from the farm by running the SP Config Wizard on it and choose to remove it from the farm. Once it's done, you can recycle that first server.

That method ensures your SP is always accessible, and you can roll-back in case of problem.
Also, note it should work very well in case you never did something dirty (and not supported) like editing files in the \15 hive. Don't forget any web.config settings you may have done manually though.

  • 1
    What about custom solution.
    – Pravin
    Dec 23, 2015 at 11:27
  • 4
    If custom solutions have been deployed according to standards (WSP, installation and deployment with CA or PowerShell), there should be no problem at all: they'll be automatically copied/propagated onto the new server when it joins the farm (i.e. when the SP config wizard runs).
    – Evariste
    Dec 23, 2015 at 12:50
  • we are getting following error while joining existing farm option. --> Database 'SharePoint_Config' on SQL Server instance '<server name>' is not empty and does not match current database schema. SharePoint object [SPConfigurationDatabase] is in an unsupported state, and could not be used by the current farm.
    – Pravin
    Feb 1, 2016 at 8:40
  • 2
    Is your new server at the same CU/Service pack level (i.e. exacte same version) as the previous one?
    – Evariste
    Feb 1, 2016 at 8:44
  • 2
    From the working server, go to the Central Administration, then "System Settings" and "Manage servers in this farm ". From there, get the "Configuration database version". Check from toddklindt.com/blog/Lists/Posts/Post.aspx?ID=346 what CU/Service pack it matches. Install the same on the new server.
    – Evariste
    Feb 1, 2016 at 8:48

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