In this SharePoint tutorial, we learned what is SharePoint farm? Various components in a SharePoint farm and we will learn SharePoint small, medium, and a large farm in SharePoint 2013/2016.
Before discussing anything one thing to remember is that SharePoint Foundation or SharePoint server 2013 is available only in 64-bit versions, which can be installed in a 64-bit version of Windows Server 2012 or Windows Server 2012 R2.
SharePoint Tutorial Contents
A SharePoint farm consists of one or more servers working together. As a whole, they gave functionality to the user. The servers can be web servers, application servers or database servers.
A SharePoint farm is a set of one or more server computers working together to provide SharePoint functionality to clients. You can set up a farm by installing everything related to SharePoint 2013 in a single server.
But in some production farm, SQL Server runs on a separate server and can have multiple front-end web servers.
Each SharePoint farm runs a single SQL Server database known as the configuration database. SharePoint Foundation creates a configuration database whenever it creates a new farm, in order to track important farm-wide information.
But in most companies separates there farm into three different types, one for SharePoint development proposes development farm, SharePoint developers write and debug SharePoint solutions.
Staging farms simulate a more realistic environment and are used testing of SharePoint solutions. It should be similar to a production farm, so ideally you should not install developer tools like a visual studio in testing servers. And the final one is the production farm, where the functionality will be available to real users.
The below diagram explains some of the key components of the SharePoint 2013 architecture.
Below are various SharePoint farm components.
These are the servers that respond to user requests and deliver web pages to the users. If multiple web servers then they will be load balanced.
These are servers that usually hosts different service applications in SharePoint 2013. Some service applications like APP service, Access service, BCS, Excel calculation service, user profile service, Managed Metadata Web Service, search service, Visio service, etc. If you have multiple servers then they will be load balanced.
These servers contain all the data in the SQL Server. In terms of SharePoint, this server will have content databases, configuration databases, and all the service application-related databases. You can have one server or can be on multiple servers.
In terms of Architecture, there can have three types of farms: Small Farm, Medium Farm, and Large Farm. Before deciding the number of servers required for your farm, we should have a look at the total number of users, average daily concurrent users, and the total number of requests per day.
SharePoint fundamentally a three-tiered application Web, Application and Data tier.
The web tier will have server or servers running in Windows server Internet Information Services (IIS) which responds to an end-user request for information and deliver the content to the user.
The Application tier the Service Application tier where various service applications run and that is shared between farm members. List of applications like search service application, Managed Metadata Service, User Profile Synchronization Service, etc.
The third tier is the database tier which runs SQL Server and that stores all content within a SharePoint environment.
- A small farm usually used in the development or testing environments where it can have only one or a maximum of two servers. You have to install everything in one server if there is only one server. If you two servers you can separate your database server.
- One server farm can server to less than 100 users.
- Two servers small farms can serve up to 10,000 users.
- If you have a larger number of users then you can create a medium farm that will have 3 to 4 servers. If you have 3 servers then one can be used for the webserver, one can be used as an application server and one can be used as a database server.
- The can server users between 10,000 to 20,000 users.
- If you have 4 servers, depending on your usage 2 can be the webserver, one can be application server and one can be the database server. Or you can also build like one web server, two application server, and one database server.
- On a large farm, there can be 6 or more than 6 servers. You can use 2 servers as the webserver, 2 as an application server and 2 for the database server.
- In an 8 server farm, you can use two servers like web servers, 2 dedicated servers for query processing components and index components and 2 as application servers for other application services and 2 can be used as the database server.
- You can also optimize your database server: you can put your content database in one server and other databases into another database server.
This SharePoint tutorial, we learned the SharePoint 2013 farm server Architecture.
Bhawana Rathore is a Microsoft MVP (3 times in Office Apps & Services) and a passionate SharePoint Consultant, having around 10 years of IT experience in the industry, as well as in .Net technologies. She likes to share her technical expertise in EnjoySharePoint.com and SPGuides.com