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I have a SharePoint Farm with 2 WFEs but not for load balancing, rather for fail over if one WFE is down. the 5 is the main, 4 is the 2nd WFE, and here's the distributed cache configuration: enter image description here

Is it normal that IsLeadHost is true for both, and why are the versions different?

Also, is this a cluster or not really? As I want to know how to restart/reprovision them as well

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SharePoint does not use IsLeadHost but rather the Configuration database defines this -- there is essentially no lead host. With that said, both FEs will have active cache fractions. You cannot have a passive DC host.

With that said, it also makes little sense to have an FE for 'failover' purposes. In SharePoint 2013, requests may be sent to the FE you do not have in the load balancer configuration as the internal SharePoint topology manager isn't 'smart'. This changed with SharePoint 2016 where SharePoint will do it's best to serve the end user on the same FE they arrived on -- this does require a streamlined topology (using MinRole in 2016 accomplishes this) where by many end user service instances run on the FE, such as MMS, UPS, and more.

  • this article says there should only be one lead host: spjeff.com/2018/11/08/fixed-distributed-cache-is-unhappy and also the highlighted different versions in my screenshot make me wonder if my distributed cache is healthy. please advise – Saz Mifsud Nov 5 at 15:26
  • Looks like you do have different patch levels for DistCache. I'd suggest checking your AppFab patches in Add/Remove Programs. Though you do have a fundamental architectural issue with your farm that you should resolve. – Trevor Seward Nov 5 at 15:27
  • Can you let me know how to check for such fundamental issues – Saz Mifsud Nov 5 at 15:44
  • As stated in my post, follow the streamlined topology configuration and note there is no such thing as a "failover" FE. All SharePoint servers in a farm are active nodes. – Trevor Seward Nov 5 at 15:46
  • i would need more help analysing my current set up and how to fix it. can you help? – Saz Mifsud Nov 6 at 7:30

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