My team is looking to reconfigure the topology of two search service applications on an SP2013 farm.

We need to make this change because there are multiple components from different SSAs on the same server (which is not supported by Microsoft) - so we plan to move the components that are the same across SSAs (e.g. Admin from SSA1 is on Server01, though Admin from SSA2 is also on Server01 - so we need to move this to Server02).

The two SSAs are used because one must be isolated from our main SSA - as it is a dependency of a third party application (which must use its own search schema etc.).

We would like to perform the reconfiguration with minimal downtime and therefore perform the search component adds / removes in bulk.

We're comfortable with moving a single component (e.g. as per here: SharePoint 2013 Search Moving Query) though have concerns about moving multiple components in the one go (e.g. adding multiple components in at step 2 of Steve Mann's post above, and removing multiple components at step 7 of the post).

Is anyone aware of any issues / gotchas with moving multiple search components in one go?

Naturally we would change the topology for one SSA at a time.

Thank you!

2 Answers 2


I have completely reconfigured entire SSAs in one step (e.g. moving Search away from a WebFrontEnd server, enabling HighAvailability, ...). This is no problem at all.

The steps are:

  • Clone your existing topology
  • Modify the cloned topology
  • Activate the cloned topology
  • Optional: Delete the old topology

The entire process is described here in great detail: Manage search components in SharePoint Server

If you do not have that much experience in moving components, it is likely you will do a mistake in your PowerShell-Scripts: try the steps in a separate test-environment first. This will avoid time-consuming troubleshooting in case you heavily rely on Search in your environment.


Just like MHeld said, the main process is to clone your old topology, modify the new topology and activate the new one. You can add and remove the search components at the same time and activate the new topology. Have a check on the official doc: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepoint/search/manage-the-search-topology https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepoint/search/change-the-default-search-topology

For your situation, i assume you want to make the two SSAs have the same topology. So make sure you are modifying the right one.

A PowerShell based UI which may be helpful: https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/scottstewart/2015/04/29/powershell-ui-to-modify-sharepoint-search-topology/

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