I have a SP 2010 farm with a 3-tier structure consisting of 1 DB server, 1 App Server and 1 Web Front End. When I create a Web New Web Application called "Search_WebApp", I notice that it creates the Web Application on BOTH the APP server and WFE. Right now I added a DNS entry so that all requests to "search" get redirected to IIS on the WFE. A few questions about this:

  1. Why did SP create the Web Application on both the APP Server and WFE? Why not just the WFE?
  2. Is a DNS entry and host headers the best/only way to force traffic to the WFE? I don't want web traffice going to the App Server.

1 Answer 1


1) Because the Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Web Application service is running on your App Layer. Go to Central Admin -> Manage services on server, select your App server, then stop this service.

2) DNS entries are the way to target a WFE for end user access. End users will only go to the WFE DNS is pointed at (or if DNS is pointed at a VIP, to the load balanced WFEs).

  • Trevor's answer is 100% correct..just adding another option :) You can also force traffic to your web front end server using hardware load balancers. I highly recommend F5 BigIP's. Here's a deployment guide if you are considering making the big purchase.
    – ajbillings
    Oct 29, 2012 at 19:36
  • 1
    If you're running crawl on the app server then I'd keep the Web App Service running and change the host file on it, such that it uses itself as WFE Oct 29, 2012 at 20:13
  • 1
    For SharePoint 2010, changing the host file isn't required. You have to set the Web Application's SiteDataServers property: blogs.technet.com/b/nathbr/archive/2011/02/22/…
    – user6024
    Oct 29, 2012 at 21:31

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