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We are installing SP2016 for the first time and need some advice about min roles. Its going to be a 2 server farm, I want them to be exactly the same. When going though the setup phase, which min role would I pick?

I presume that in my scenario, you would choose custom?

Might be a silly question but, I need to be sure.

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I would go with the Custom Role as your requirement is both server should be the same then only Custom Role can give you full ability. Custom role is same as what we have in SharePoint 2013( one role).

  • Can distribute roles between two servers? 2 two roles in one server and rest of the roles in another server? – Atish Dipongkor - MVP Aug 4 '16 at 13:01
  • No, you have only one role but Custom is role which include everything in it. Rest i.e Application or DC or Search or Webfront end roles are subset of the Custom. – Waqas Sarwar MVP Aug 4 '16 at 13:02
  • So what's the difference with Single-server farm? I am really confused with these two roles? Thanks for your reply! – Atish Dipongkor - MVP Aug 4 '16 at 13:04
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    big catch is Single-Server is for only one server farm you cannot add more server in the farm while custom role is scaleable. – Waqas Sarwar MVP Aug 4 '16 at 13:13
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    That's a very important info! – Atish Dipongkor - MVP Aug 4 '16 at 13:21
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For anyone who arrives here, MinRole is the best practice going forward. If you are hosting a farm for production/staging purposes, definitely use MinRole. Microsoft has recently reduced the VM burden by combining some MinRoles like WFE+Distributed Cache, and Search+App. https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/mt667910%28v=office.16%29.aspx?f=255&MSPPError=-2147217396

For a two server farm, use WFE+Distributed Cache, and Search+App. Search+APP actually includes the WFE role, so effectively you can even use it as a WFE if you want.

MinRole configurations are the only tested scenarios from Microsoft before they release patches. Being compliant with MinRole gives you power when working with stack overflow/technet forums, or Microsoft support when trying to get help. Finally, having a hard set of service applications on your farm reduces support burden. If you really need a custom server, add a server on top of an already compliant MinRole farm.

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