Good morning (And afternoon for some),

I have been tasked with setting up a SharePoint environment for a small non-profit that I am interning at. There will be 550 users and we will be using SharePoint 2013. I have been researching topologies and farm design and there are a ton of great resources but, I need to recommend hardware and software requirements within my proposal plan and since this is my first time looking into this, I would love to get some seasoned veterans input. From what I understand, I will need:

  • A web server
  • A dedicated web server for crawling, Query, and Index.
  • An application server
  • A database server (SQL 2012)

Any information is greatly appreciated.

  • 1
    Talk with senior managers of the IT department of your non-profit. All the non-profits and NGO I came into contact with were all using Office 365 (with relative license for NGOS) because it was totally free, especially considering the size you wrote. Depending on what accessories you need, you might need to purchase one single (still very cheap) higher license to have the ability to insert some tools but all things considered the o365 deal for NGO is unbeatable, price wise. – susan Aug 3 '16 at 15:30
  • I've found non-profits to be strange, a few I've dealt with use on-prem because they get the hardware for nearly free (and software for absolutely free) yet can't afford the revolving subscription of O365 (this was for a ~20 user 503(c)). – Trevor Seward Aug 3 '16 at 15:40

With that number of users, depending on usage, a two SharePoint server farm running all services on each is likely appropriate, given you allocate the appropriate amount of CPU and memory (likely start out with 4 cores and 20GB RAM, then adjust from there as usage changes).

For SQL Server, if you only have one, you only have one, but otherwise look at SQL Clustering as you can do that with SQL Standard along with using shared storage (reducing storage costs). SQL Server could likely be 4 CPU with 10 - 18GB RAM, and adjust from there based on usage.


its depend, how much data you are storing in and how you want to use SharePoint. What about the High Availability? Workflow Manager ?

With High Availability, i would design this way

  • 2 web server( load balanced)
  • 2 App servers( Search, UPA and other services) and Also use one of the server for WFM
  • SQL server 2012( i would go for Always On).

this is HA farm.

But without that i think your topology is fine.

Read more About streamline topolgies from MSFT


  • 4 SharePoint servers is overkill for 550 users. – Trevor Seward Aug 3 '16 at 15:31
  • Yes but if we want HA – Waqas Sarwar MVP Aug 3 '16 at 15:32
  • 1
    You can achieve that with 2 SharePoint servers. 4 is overkill. – Trevor Seward Aug 3 '16 at 15:32

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.