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I was after some advice and pre-reqs for introducing a application server into our SharePoint 2010 Enterprise environment. We currently have 2 front end servers one sits in the DMZ and then we have a SharePoint DB server.

Over the past few months I've noticed the performance has dropped particularly when performing searches. I have recently added some additional service applications such as excel services, managed metadata and user profile services. Search and crawl are obviously running too. My incremental search covers all local sites and is set to 15 minutes with a full crawl scheduled at 12:00am. When this incremental crawl runs the user experience when performing searches appears to be impacted.

Would we be better of creating a server to run all of these service applications mainly the search's?

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Yes, adding a server is an option. Probably you are crawling a lot of content or users are createing loads of queries. Consider moving search to separate application server.

It is not a good practice to run search and another resource consuming services on front end servers, because it can impact user experience.

You don't have to put all the services on application server. Some can be run on front end servers (excel services, user profile). All depends on server performance and load.

Please take a look at architecture for SP2013 from MS. It is same (very similar) for SP2010: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/confirmation.aspx?id=37000

  • Thanks for the info. Our environment as it stands is still in testing we have less than 10 users using it. We have developed a solution that has pages that use searches to populate the page. Its when these pages are loaded that we intermittently witness this slowness. After seeing this streamlined topology its clear we have the right topology for our user base. I may disable the incremental crawl for a few days and see if I hit this slowness again. Thanks – JazzyN Apr 16 '14 at 15:26
  • Wait, 10 users? You shouldn't be having any performance issues at all. How are those searches being performed? Custom web part? OOB search web parts? What are the specs on the hardware? And, did you say that only 1 of two servers is in the DMZ? How is the farm being accessed? – Mike2500 Apr 16 '14 at 17:51
  • 10 users shouldn't be the issue even on standalone installation. Please tell us your servers HW configuration. Can you monitor resource usage on them? Are you running out of memory or CPU? Here might be issue also in SQL server - isn't it extensively used by other applications? – luccio Apr 17 '14 at 7:19
  • The HW is fine I monitored it and even increased the RAM. Even during an incremental crawl there is enough resources to spare. The webparts are custom developed and do appear to be causing the impact on speed but I would think it would happen every time they were used but it is intermittent. These web parts are basically searching 3 or 4 libraries within the same site and displaying the content. I have mentioned this to our devs so they can investigate. I was just checking if it was a setup issue but judging from the feedback from Luccio's PDF he attached we're all good. Thanks – JazzyN Apr 17 '14 at 15:35
  • If you think web parts are the issue, please use Developer Dashboard to find out which operations take too long. – luccio Apr 17 '14 at 20:44
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adding a new App server, definitely help you in the performance. When you offload the resource extensive application from WFE.

Now big question is what services you want on the new server( i recommend to move all services applications to App server). for search you can you use the wfe for the search query services. For search Crawling, i would say schedule off hours, make sure its not conflict with User Profile Sync schedule.

Another thing to check, the hardware of both SharePoint and DB servers( Ram and CPU). When your search is running, did you check performance on the Servers( whether CPU maxed or Ram Maxed)?

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