We have a SharePoint 2013 Farm with 3 tier architecture(1 WFE,1 APP Server & 1 DB Server). We have configured search service application with 3 Content Sources, each linked to one web application. The CPU utilisation by search service application is very high during Incremental Crawl(90-99%).RAM utilisation is not so high(20-30%).

App Server Specs: 2.10 GHz OctaCore processor with 56GB RAM & 120GB HDD

Generally Incremental crawl for all three Content Source runs in parallel(Crawl is scheduled for every 15min). So there may be CPU resource throttling at that moment.

So, would it be better to create search service application for each content source or distribute search service components on multiple servers?

  • Rather than run scheduled incrementals every 15, have you tried running continuous crawls? Commented Mar 24, 2017 at 11:36
  • We had changed the crawl type from incremental to continuous, but when continuous crawl starts it still consumes CPU for a bit of time, but after that CPU consumption drops,so for the time being it solved our problem, but as @alok-kumar-gupta said, now i also think would be better to move search service app on other server
    – Shashank
    Commented Mar 25, 2017 at 14:09
  • CPU is meant to be consumed. If it's causing issued with other services you can either move the services to other servers or dial back the performance level of the crawler. The default is Maximum, if your server can't handle that use "Partly Reduced" or "Reduced". Commented Mar 26, 2017 at 0:42

3 Answers 3


Since all service applications are hosted on same server, it will be difficult to say what is taking CPU by numbers given in post. It may happen that workflow or Excel Services may be taking majority of CPU usage.

However, if you have found that "Microsoft Search components" are taking most of CPU space (say in task manager or SCOM), it will not help if we create separate service applications as crawl & content processing will still happen on same server.

We may need to start by moving "Search Service Application" on a new dedicated search server and if it still does not help then move crawl and content processing component on one server and Search Index & Query processing components on second server and so on. It will certainly in deciding "search servers architecture" (no of servers and components hosted by them) if one knows how many total items are there in farm.


Up to 1 millions documents a single server needs for all services 6-8 cores. Next is dedicated crawl server with search crawl component on it. The rest search components on first server. Need new search topology with ps script.


It is not recommended to have multiple search service application.

you can always look to split the roles to each server and you can look for having dedicated search server.

Then as @alok-kumar-gupta and @chi mentioned you can split the roles and do index partition too.

You can refer Microsoft recommendations for Index Partition and other search topology details at this thread

  • It's a SharePoint 2013 Farm, I think you are talking about 2016. Commented Mar 24, 2017 at 11:35
  • @MatthewMcDermott Thanks, I have removed the relevant answer , that has been included for 2016. but other factors remain the same I guess Commented Mar 26, 2017 at 17:01

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