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How should I arrive at the Number of the Front End Web Servers that are needed for the SharePoint Installation which is going to serve 40K Users.

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Aug 25 '09 at 9:07

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Sorry Alex & SO, I didn't Think about it when I posted it. –  kusek Aug 25 '09 at 8:50
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3 Answers

Well unless you have some idea what these guys will be doing with it, figuring out the number of WFE might be a problem. You might have just one or dozens of WFEs depending on load you expect. Do you need redundancy... which features they will be using... there is number of questions you should ask them...

Take a look at:

  1. HP ProLiant Sizer for Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 or
  2. SharePoint Capacity Planning Tool

Both tools might be helpful to find out the right questions you should ask your users.

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I would start out with a FOUR machine configuration for a potentially large installation:

  • 2 front end web servers
  • 1 index server (and potential spare / extra web server)
  • 1 database server

If you get the front end web servers build in a NLB model from the start then it will be easier to add more web servers later.

Of course, you want to invest in very good networking switch, fibre channel storage arrays, plenty of RAM in the servers (16GB in the web server, at least 32GB for the database server).

Alternatively, you can just put it all on one server and then see how it goes, and expand out as performance / scalability demands...

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+1 - this is a good place to start. In case you are thinking of doing this in VMware or HyperV (which would make rolling out additional WFEs even easier) you should check out blogs.msdn.com/uksharepoint/archive/2009/02/26/… which discusses in detail. One bit of advice I wish we'd had originally was to make sure the index server is physical not a VM, due to the IO. With 40k, you might also want to look at something a bit more substantial than windows NLB for load balancing/high availability. –  dunxd Jan 29 '10 at 10:05
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