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We are planning on building a Workflow farm to use with an existing SharePoint 2013 farm. We have 7 servers in total split between 2 physical locations:

Location 1: Server 1, Server 2, Server 3, Server 4

Location 2: Server 5, Server 6, Server 7

The requirement is to have high availability in case one data centre goes up into the air. This would be the perfect for disaster recovery scenario, but at the same time we would like to utilise all of the servers as well and not keep half of them running but being useless at the same time.

Since Service Bus Farm can either be 1,3 or 5 servers, the following configuration should work:

Location 1: Server 1 (WF + SB), Server 2 (WF + SB), Server 3 (WF + SB), Server 4 (SQL, Clustered)

Location 2: Server 5 (WF + SB), Server 6 (WF + SB), Server 7 (SQL, Clustered)

What would happen if all servers in Location 1 would go down? That would leave us with 2 WF servers (2 Service Bus servers as well) + 1 SQL running. Would the whole Workflow Farm stop working since there would only be 2 Service Bus instances instead of supported 1, 3 or 5? What would be the best way to utilise those 7 servers in 2 physical locations to squeeze the most of them?

Edit 1: I assume that in case of a disaster there would be no need to restore the databases as clustered SQL would take care of that?

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WFM can only be 1 or 3 servers. No other configuration is valid. Workflow Manager supports Cold and Warm Standby configurations, not Hot configurations. You will need to replicate the 6 databases, and restore them to the cold/standby WFM farm.

  • Apparently after service bus 1.1 and workflow manager CU2 upade Workflow Manager Farm can support 5 servers. – Paul Strupeikis Feb 29 '16 at 16:55
  • Yep, you're correct. That said, you'll need to go the cold/warm standby. – Trevor Seward Feb 29 '16 at 21:19
  • Sorry for a late reply. Trevor, so you're saying that it wouldn't be possible to use all 7 servers together at any point in time? Or are you saying that they could use 7 servers, but if Location 1 would blow up, HA would be gone and they would need leave only one server running out of 2 in Location 2? – Paul Strupeikis Jan 18 '17 at 10:07
  • A WFM farm may only consist of 1 or 3 servers. – Trevor Seward Jan 18 '17 at 21:17
  • Ok, for the sake of simplicity let's say that I have a WFM farm consisting of 3 servers and 1 server goes down. Does the WFM stop working completely until that server is up and running again (as it is now 2 servers with SB running, instead of a supported 1, 3, or 5)? I would have to respectfully disagree that WFM farm can only consist of 1 or 3 servers. It's Service Bus that requires to be installed on 1, 3 or 5 (msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn441419.aspx) servers, as far as I understand WFM can be installed on any number of servers. – Paul Strupeikis Jan 19 '17 at 9:28

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