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Adding servers into a existing farm

  Asked By: Carmen    Date: Jan 28    Category: Sharepoint    Views: 1421

We have a 'Medium' farm on our site here in the UK and would like to add
another server into the farm for one of our other offices. The other
office is in Italy, so the idea is to put a server there so that all the
Italian content will be near to the users. The home page for the site
would be here in the UK (from our farm) but then the 'Italian' section
would be hosted on the other server (the newly added in one).

Is this possible and if so is there some documentation around about how
to do it.



11 Answers Found

Answer #1    Answered By: Katelynn Donovan     Answered On: Jan 28

This is not supported by Microsoft. While it might work with a really
fat line with low usage and latency, it just isn't supported.

Answer #2    Answered By: Geraldine Slater     Answered On: Jan 28

So my next question is....is there a recommended way to do this. Ie have
Sharepoint run at multiple sites with the data being near the users?

Answer #3    Answered By: Gail Richmond     Answered On: Jan 28

One option would be to set up a farm  in each location. Have a site
collection in each location for local content. Set up content
deployment paths and jobs to create and update read-only replicas of
the local content  in the other farm, so (for example) the Italian
users could view the UK content on their local farm.

The Italian users  could update the content in their own site
collection, and the updates would be pushed to the UK copy. However,
they would need to browse to the UK farm if they wanted to make any
changes to the UK-sourced site  collection, since content deployment
is a one way push not a synchronisation system.

However, be aware that content deployment is the most troubled part
of MOSS in terms of reliability. See

An alternative is to use a third party product. For example,
Infonics (formerly iOra) has a product that can sit on a server  in
Italy and mirror the UK system, acting as a local cache. In this
scenario, you don't even need to install SharePoint in Italy, but to
the Italian users it looks like you have.

They also have a product that would let you have SharePoint farms in
both Italy and the UK and use their product to do two-way
synchronisation of updates between the farms. They claim their
process is extremely bandwidth efficient.

Answer #4    Answered By: Ramona Solis     Answered On: Jan 28

How about WSS servers  at each site  with a central portal? Does anyone know
if this will work?

It seems to me that local users  would be more concerned about local access
to working files, but central access to published information would be
sufficient. I don't know what the bandwidth requirements are between WSS and
the Portal search/job/index processes are, but assume that this is

Answer #5    Answered By: Harvey Blankenship     Answered On: Jan 28

Having a site  collect on each site
sounds tempting but the lack of two way sync would kill it really as the
whole idea  is for collaboration for us.

The Infonics product looks like a good solution though. Do you have any
experience with the product? (ie is it any good!?)

Yes that sounds like what we are trying to do. It's not a
problem with everyone using the home  page here in the UK, but when they
start to change/add content  in their sections then the data needs to be
local. We already have http://intranet/uk and http://intranet/italy,
both of which are hosted  in the UK, but I would like to move the /Italy
section to another server  and ship that to Italy. I suppose you could
just create a separate installation on the Italian site and just link
from the Homepage to it, but you would loose the searching across sites

Answer #6    Answered By: Xiomara Blanchard     Answered On: Jan 28

The configuration that I was suggesting would give you local access to
working content  in Italy. The WSS/SQL server  there would push
ansynchronously to the central portal server, which would crawl all of the
WSS servers  regardless of location. It sounds like it would work, but I
haven't found anyone who has tried it yet.

Answer #7    Answered By: Rosemarie Cervantes     Answered On: Jan 28

The simplest solution would be to have two farms. Have two sets of
collaboration spaces, with users  collaborating in their closest

One farm  could act as a portal, by crawling both farms and acting as
the central search service. Although the central farm's index server
would have to crawl the remote farm over the WAN link, this is quite
efficient because it uses the change log. Remote users would have to
be directed to the central farm for searching. This is essentially
the approach taken by Microsoft in their internal deployment.

The only "out of the box" function to "push" content  as Steve seems
to be talking about is content deployment, which as I said is
troublesome. Third party alternatives (of which I have no direct
experience at this stage) include the Infonics product that gives
you two way synchronisation of content between the two farms,
another Infonics product that can run on a server  in the remote
location to give cached access to the central farm, or the WAN
acceleration type of products someone else suggested.

Answer #8    Answered By: Manan Kadu     Answered On: Jan 28

The other thing you can do is consider a wanacceleration product like riverbed

Due to the way in which it compresses a 1Mb link can behave like an 80Mb link
for sharepoint isa typical stat I have heard.

Answer #9    Answered By: Tonia Franco     Answered On: Jan 28

Perfect, that was just the answer I was looking for. I'll give it a go
on out test system.

Answer #10    Answered By: Amareswar Karkera     Answered On: Jan 28

To get the portal site  to crawl the other site, is it simply a case of
adding the url for the other farm  to the crawl service? And is it
possible to set this up on both farms, ie each farms crawls each other?

Answer #11    Answered By: Cheyenne Jacobson     Answered On: Jan 28

Yes. The main issue is to make sure that the content  access account
has read rights on the remote farm. On the remote farm, add the
content access account to the policy of the web application that it
will crawl with read rights.

Yes, you can get the farms to "cross crawl" each other, so searching
works from anywhere.

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