SharePoint 2010 – Role of the App Server

Previously in SharePoint 2007 a common SharePoint environment looked something like:

  • Web Front End Server
  • Application / Index Server
  • Database Server

Now when we said “Application Server” that usually meant things like Central Administration and Search but really didn’t mean a whole lot because while we wanted to isolate additional services to this box, SharePoint didn’t give us that level of control.

Enter SharePoint 2010…

SharePoint 2010 allows for much more granular control over the services that run and where they run by building a full (and extensible!) Service Oriented Architecture. This means that we can now utilize our Application server for almost anything including the following items:

  • Specific Timer Jobs – Targeted per Content Database
  • Service Applications – Target a much larger number of services to a specific server that we previously could in 2007
  • User Code Service – Isolated service for sandbox solutions

For those of us that have an existing Application Server or if you are planning your new SharePoint 2010 farm topology be sure to think about your service allocation and take better advantage of that “Application Server” role.

I'm a public speaker and the Chief SharePoint Architect for Eastridge, a Microsoft Gold Partner specializing in SharePoint and custom application development in Winston-Salem, NC. I focus on the SharePoint platform with a specialty in Information Architecture, Publishing and Best Practices.

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