Planning Architecture, Installation, Configurations, Security and Content
Muhammad Zeeshan Tahir
MCP, MCSE SharePoint 2013
This document contains some helping guide lines. By following these, it may save time and effort for a SharePoint Administrator. Continue…
Architecture is actually the topology that defines the farm.
Selection of SharePoint architecture depends on the usage, target audience,
performance and availability.
Server Roles in the farm
Web Front End
Mostly considered topologies are defined into three categories
Roles and Types
What defines the role of a server?
Services provided by a server defines what actually the server role is in the
Handling user requests > Web Front End
Running SharePoint services > Application Server
Storing content and config databases > Database Server
Server hardware and software requirements for SharePoint.
Web Front End
Fast, light-weight server which responds to user
requests for web pages. All web servers in a farm are
mirrors of each other and are load balanced.
Provides the service features of SharePoint products
and technologies. An application server often
provides all or a subset of service features. Multiple
redundant application servers can be load balanced.
Stores content and service data. All databases can be
assigned to one database server. Or databases can be
spread across multiple servers. All databases can be
clustered or mirrored for failover protection.
Good for evaluation, Development, Training and Demonstration.
Best For < 100 users.
Note: A Standalone installation is completely different from Single Server Farm installation of SharePoint. A stand alone
installation installs SQL instance itself on the same server and use it for SharePoint databases. Uses single account to
configure everything and later on cannot add any new server to the farm.
All roles in one server including SQL Server
SharePoint Farm vs Standalone
Couple of more differences between SharePoint Farm and SharePoint
Using separate account to connect to SQL serverSharePoint server
Using other accounts to manage a lot of services such as: Excel service,
Performance Point, setup reverse proxy, setup load balancing
Allow multiple SharePoint servers join into this farm to improve availability.
Multiple SharePoint servers can host Central Administration, Search Index, Search
query, Web Application, etc for better performance.
Server hardware and software requirements for SharePoint.
Can support up to 10,000 users per server.
Can add multiple servers on each level with same roles as below.
Databases are handled separately by dedicated database servers.
User requests handled by the same server running the other SharePoint services.
All Web and Application server roles
Split the servers according to their roles.
One web server can support up to 10,000.
Can add multiple servers on each level in
WFE’s, Application or Database servers.
Dedicated servers can be added for Search
service crawling and indexing.
High Availability - Failover Server
Failover Server acts as the secondary database server in case of main DB server
failure. A witness server is an optional server.
Setting a failover server while creating a web or service application doesn’t
create everything for you. It just points to the server and SharePoint checks
whether the mentioned server exists or not.
Failover Database Server
Mirroring Log Shipping Replication Always On
SQL Server 2012 Enterprise
Logical Architecture of SharePoint
Use separate service accounts for each type of service/web application. Min 3
User Profile Service
SQL Server Svc Account
Apply AD policy for service account
User cannot change password
Password never expires
Required Account Example
SQL Server Service Account sqlSvcAcc
SharePoint Setup Administrator spAdmin
SharePoint Farm Account spFarmAcc
Always choose Server Farm installation if its not a development machine
Config DB Name
Always try to stick with the default DB name
Changing the name may cause confusion in case of more than one Databases
CA Port Number
Although the installation wizard suggests a random port during installation but
we should stick with a same port number for all of SharePoint environments.
My favorite is 9000.
Easy to remember http://CAServer:9000
Services Auto Configuration
SharePoint provides one click creation of Service
Application. Very handy when you have less time to
configure the single server farm. However these
services should be configured manually with
dedicated service accounts.
Set Paths to non OS drive
Set ULS logs, SharePoint Web Applications and Search Indexes into non OS
drive of servers. This would be helpful when the ULS logs will increase their
size, you’ll not have any warning message in CA health monitoring.
Default path for logs is below
Change it to D:SharePointAppsLOGS
Default path for web applications is below
Change it to D:SharePointAppsWebs
Generally the Diagnose Logging is set to Verbose which consumes more
resources on server to write everything in logs.
Change it to Critical and & Unexpected if farm is running fine for all
In case you want to troubleshoot any issue and want to track in logs. Change
it to Verbose temporarily.
Keep an eye on Health Monitoring ribbon.
Try to fix the critical errors that may cause any service, web application or
Consistency throughout entire farm
Use complete names, not abbreviations
Not Recommended: MyComp Pvt Ltd
Avoid spaces to limit population of %20
Not Recommended: My Company Private Limited
Microsoft recommends not to increase the size of a content database to more
than 200 GB. However SharePoint will still work If the size crosses the limit.
A content database can contain 60 million items including documents and list
A content database can support 10,000 maximum (2,500 non-Personal site
collections and 7,500 Personal Sites, or 10,000 Personal Sites alone).
If a site collection seems to have a lot more data in future, create a separate
content database for it to optimize the size.
If a site collection has increased its size which wasn’t expected, don’t worry,
you can move the site collection by creating a new blank content DB using
Content Databases Size
Create More Lists/Libraries
Sometimes the users face the issues related to list view threshold of a list or
Try to create List/Library separately categorized by their types and usage.
You can create more lists and libraries for managing data and keeping the
threshold value less than 5000 items. However if once the threshold value
increased, the recommended solutions may give a bad user experience but
Turning off list threshold for a list/library
Adding metadata navigation
List column indexing
SharePoint creates a “Local SharePoint Sites” content source automatically
for crawling which is fine for a small level farm where crawling does not take
much to complete or have dedicated search servers.
Content Sources must split and configured for each web application so can be
scheduled for different times for crawling.
Avoid granting direct permissions on any site collection, site or list/library.
Always use SharePoint groups for permissions.
If there is any site, list or library where new/existing users need to have
access frequently, then better way to maintain the permissions structure is to
have an AD security group, add all of the target users in that security group
and grant permissions to that AD group by adding them in the desired
SharePoint group according the permissions level.