More questions on Sharepoint implementation......

I'm tasked with a SharePoint 2013 Standard implementation. Like many others, I don't know what I don't know. I am actively spending a lot of time to learn and understand SharePoint, it's implementation and functional use.

I will be hiring an outside company to set up SharePoint. They're recommending a 4-server, 3-tier farm: a WFE, an Application server, a Web App server for Office, and a SQL server. What are the thoughts of this recommendation? Understanding that the Web app server is a "freebie" and SQL us already in place and licensed, is it better to spend another $6K for the additional SharePoint license or combine the WFE and Application on 1 server at a cost of $6k? ($6k per server license: one for the WFE and one for the Application server)

This farm will be in a growing company with currently about 125 users and the plan to add an extranet with form-based authentication as a phase 2 implementation sometime early next year. Any thoughts you have about adding an extranet and the architecture to be so would also be appreciated.

I've learned a lot from the "experts" and a variety of other sources with still so much more to learn.
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Eddie_1Author Commented:
What are the pro's and con's of having  WFE and Application server installed on 1 box and the pro's and con's for WFE and Application on separate servers?
Rainer JeschorCommented:
in general it depends on what feature set from SharePoint you will use and to which extent.
Having the WFE and application server split means that you can scale very easily to more application servers if you need to - like Search, BCS ...

Office Web Apps have to be installed on a dedicated server and having a dedicated SQL Server makes also sense - especially as the SQL Server is the heart of each SharePoint farm.

125 user does not sound that much, but if you plan e.g. to use the BI toolset then it makes definitely sense to have a dedicated app server.

Eddie_1Author Commented:
Where can I find feature sets for SP?
Does Search run on the application server?
What is BCS and the BI tool set?

The WFE, as I understand, is simply the url access point for other Sahrepoint resources. Am I understanding that right?

What does the application server do in a SP farm?

I have a dedicated SQL server and am expecting an Office Web App server (I think this is a free download and install)

Is it true that Sharepoint will add about 15 new databases. Is that a far consideration?
Rainer JeschorCommented:
it depends on which service applications you use and configure:
Here a list of all possible service applications.

BCS (Business Connectivity Services) and Search run on the application server so the app server is the one where configured service applications will run on - you can split service apps to run on different / multiple app server (scale-out).

And yes, there are a lot of different databases like Config, Central Admin Content, Site Collection Content, Search admin, Crawl ... DBs.

For an overview please see here the MSDN documentation.

The size of the databases (like site collection content and search/crawl) depend on what you upload to SharePoint.

A really comprehensive list of features (and the available editions) is here

BI is part of the area called "Insight".
BCS means Business Connectivity Services and means that you can have data in external LOB (Line Of Business) applications shown and mapped in SharePoint as part of external lists / entities.


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Eddie_1Author Commented:
Is there a general rule of thumb in planning for the number of databases that'll be added to SQL for Sharepoint and the potential growth over a 3-year period? (SQL 2008 is currently in place)

A 4-server farm seems to be the direction (a WFE, an Application server, Office Web App server, and SQL). I suspect usage will grow  as people begin to adopt and take advantage of Sharepoint. Are there other growth considerations that should be considered?

Currently, there isn't a plan for redundancy at this point given the cost of 2 server licenses and cal's. Depending on cold clones will be a big part along with backups. This server farm will be running on 2 hosts and an Equallogic. I read that the server farm should be spread across hosts in Hyper-V. What do you think?

While in the planning stages, is there something that should have particular attention during the initial implementation to add an extranet as a phase 2 plan? (Phase 1 is to install Sharepoint to replace the intranet) Will this require setting up a dmz?
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