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Having the Fast search farm separate to existing Sharepoint installations? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Just wanted to get some expert opinion on this:

    If we have two or more Sharepoint 2010 farms, originally using Sharepoint's own search. Fast is then introduced into the picture and instead of bolting the Fast search farm onto one of the existing SP2010 ones, one of the possibilities is to have a search-only Fast farm. This is to minimize the impact on existing SP installations and to have a search services only location:

    • The search-only farm will have it's own separate Sharepoint installation (Query, Content SSAs) 
    • The search-only Sharepoint/Fast farm will host the search UI (search web parts). So this UI becomes the main hub for searching content
    • Other (existing) Sharepoint 2010 farms will be upgraded to pass their search traffic to the Fast search farm, either via proxy SSA or by redirecting search box parameters to Fast search UI (http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/how-fast-search-for-sharepoint-fits-into-sharepoint-2010.aspx)
    • Single SP2010 farm search: Fast search will need to be aware of each Sharepoint (content) farm it is crawling so the results can be filtered on Collection/scope

    Can you think of any drawbacks/gotchas when using this approach? Has anyone done this before?

    Thanks.


    • Edited by fas-ms Tuesday, September 13, 2011 4:53 PM
    Tuesday, September 13, 2011 4:36 PM

Answers

  • Hi fas-ms,

    If you want to use the Proxy SSA method, then your SharePoint farms have to be set up as parent/child farms. If they are "disconnected" you cannot add proxy components to the other farms from the SSA. Maybe you could outline your topology a bit more?

    Redirecting the parameters to another SP site with the search page should work just fine, and I assume you will have domain trust between the farms, or that they are all in the same domain to ensure sso.

    As for crawling and searching, you will either add the default crawler account on all farms, or add a crawl rule to use another account against the SP farms, so this is easy. As for limiting what content each user will search on I suggest setting up a separate search page for each SP farm, and add a scope which limits content for each one of them (create a scope which limits on ContentSource, and use a naming convention of the content sources per farm, eg: FARM1_SharePoint, FARM2_SharePoint, FARM1_FileShare, FARM2_FileShare. And use a string prefix fql scope: contentsource:starts-with("FARM1"))

    If your users do not have access to both farms, then the indexed security should in fact limit what is returned, and you won't need scopes to limit what is seen.

    I have yet to set up a scenario like this myself, but I'm interested in how you end up setting it up and your experience with it :)

    Regards,
    Mikael Svenson 


    Search Enthusiast - SharePoint MVP/WCF4/ASP.Net4
    http://techmikael.blogspot.com/
    • Marked as answer by fas-ms Friday, September 16, 2011 4:18 PM
    Tuesday, September 13, 2011 7:03 PM

All replies

  • Hi fas-ms,

    If you want to use the Proxy SSA method, then your SharePoint farms have to be set up as parent/child farms. If they are "disconnected" you cannot add proxy components to the other farms from the SSA. Maybe you could outline your topology a bit more?

    Redirecting the parameters to another SP site with the search page should work just fine, and I assume you will have domain trust between the farms, or that they are all in the same domain to ensure sso.

    As for crawling and searching, you will either add the default crawler account on all farms, or add a crawl rule to use another account against the SP farms, so this is easy. As for limiting what content each user will search on I suggest setting up a separate search page for each SP farm, and add a scope which limits content for each one of them (create a scope which limits on ContentSource, and use a naming convention of the content sources per farm, eg: FARM1_SharePoint, FARM2_SharePoint, FARM1_FileShare, FARM2_FileShare. And use a string prefix fql scope: contentsource:starts-with("FARM1"))

    If your users do not have access to both farms, then the indexed security should in fact limit what is returned, and you won't need scopes to limit what is seen.

    I have yet to set up a scenario like this myself, but I'm interested in how you end up setting it up and your experience with it :)

    Regards,
    Mikael Svenson 


    Search Enthusiast - SharePoint MVP/WCF4/ASP.Net4
    http://techmikael.blogspot.com/
    • Marked as answer by fas-ms Friday, September 16, 2011 4:18 PM
    Tuesday, September 13, 2011 7:03 PM
  • Hi Mikael,

    Thanks for your comments, very useful indeed. Will keep this thread posted on developments.

    Fas
    Friday, September 16, 2011 4:18 PM