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I'm having a SharePoint 2013 enterprise farm with the following servers and roles:

  • Application server 1 - Hosts CA and all the services (expect search). (32 GB ram, 4 cores).
  • Application server 2 - Dedicated for the search service and it's components. (32 GB ram, 4 cores).
  • WFE server 1 - Hosts our small webapplications (6) expect on off our largest which have a single dedicated wfe. (32 GB ram, 4 cores).
  • WFE server 2 - Dedicated wfe for one our largest webapplications (4500 site collections), traffic is routed through our DNS. The other applications pools are stopped. (32 GB ram, 8 cores).

For all the webapplications, we're running continuous crawl but recently we have seen that on different occasions with no obvious pattern that the dedicated WFE (wfe 2) get's throttled and start's rejecting our users.

Looking at the IIS-logs we can see that the the crawl account does around 150 requests each seconds to the wf2 (when the incremental crawl runs that comes with the continuous crawl) and I think this causes the server to start throttling requests from our users.

I've read up on targeting the search crawl to a dedicated webfront server and wonder if I could start the Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Web Application service on our dedicated search server and then add an entry in the host file to make sure that the search server does all the crawling through itself? All webapplications uses HTTPS/SSL.

Or is it a requirement that a dedicated crawl server is a separate server where the search service and it's components is not running?

TL;DR - Can a dedicated search application server work and crawl content as a dedicated crawl server at the same time?

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