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This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

Examining Real-World SharePoint 2013 Deployments

Conceptually speaking about a SharePoint environment is not the same as actually viewing some real-design scenarios with the product. Therefore, the last section of this chapter focuses on viewing some sample real-world deployment scenarios that are supported and give insight into the architecture and design concepts surrounding SharePoint 2013.

Deploying Single-Server SharePoint

The most straightforward deployment of SharePoint 2013 is one that involves a single all-in-one server that runs the database components and the web and all service application roles. This type of server deployment, shown in Figure 2.2, has the distinct advantage of being simple to deploy and administer.


FIGURE 2.2 Viewing a sample single-server SharePoint farm.

In this type of deployment, the server takes on all the roles of the environment, including the following:

  • SharePoint Central Administration tool
  • Content databases and other SharePoint databases
  • All site collections and sites
  • All service application roles

This environment works well for those environments with a small number of users. Its biggest disadvantage is that there is a great deal of contention between the database role and the SharePoint roles, which can cause performance constraints.

Deploying Small SharePoint Farms

For those organizations with a greater number of users or whose users are more active and require a separate server, the next step up in SharePoint design is a small farm model, as shown in Figure 2.3.


FIGURE 2.3 Viewing a sample small SharePoint farm.

In this type of deployment, two servers are set up. The first holds all the databases and is essentially a dedicated SQL server box for SharePoint. The second server runs the SharePoint roles. By separating the database role from the SharePoint roles, significant performance increases can be obtained.

Deploying Mid-Sized SharePoint Farms

As an organization’s document management and collaboration needs to grow, the SharePoint farm needs to grow with it. Figure 2.4 illustrates a mid-sized SharePoint farm with four total servers, which is the minimal number of servers that can be deployed to provide for full HA of all SharePoint components.


FIGURE 2.4 A four-server mid-sized SharePoint farm.

For best performance and scalability, however, many organizations may choose instead to separate the web and service application tiers of SharePoint and deploy a mid-sized six-server environment, such as what is shown in Figure 2.5.


FIGURE 2.5 A six-server mid-sized SharePoint farm.

In this configuration, the web role is now separate from the service application roles, which increases performance. In addition, NLB is used between the web role servers to provide for availability, and the SQL servers are clustered using either AlwaysOn Failover Cluster Instances (FCIs) or AOAGs to provide for HA and DR of the database tier. This type of environment can easily scale into the tens of thousands of users.

Taking a look at one final mid-sized design (see Figure 2.6), some organizations may instead choose to separate those six servers into two separate farms, one for the service applications and the other for the content. This has the advantage of keeping the two farms completely independent of each other for patching and maintenance, and the content farm (or farms) can consume services provided on the services farm, such as Search and the Managed Metadata Service.


FIGURE 2.6 A six-server mid-sized SharePoint multifarm environment.

Deploying Large SharePoint Farms

SharePoint operates under design principles that are massively scalable if needed. Using redundancy and load-balancing techniques such as the SQL AlwaysOn and NLB, you can obtain more performance from an environment simply through the addition of other servers to provide redundancy and load balancing to specific roles. For example, in a large farm, such as the one shown in Figure 2.7, multiple servers in cluster and NLB configurations enable the environment to be scaled into a large numbers of users. In addition, multiple Search service servers and striped index partitions enable the Search infrastructure to scale into the tens of millions of documents indexed. New features such as SharePoint 2013 Resource Management (RM) automatically allow for content to be intelligently distributed between web servers. RM is a concept discussed in more detail in Chapter 4.


FIGURE 2.7 Deploying a large multiple-farm SharePoint environment.

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