Authors:  Ravikanth Chaganti and Kevin Guinn       -     May 2010

A Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 farm hosts service applications that provide many different functions for its users. These functions are available through Web servers, and store configuration information and data in SQL Server® databases. The interaction between components means that a three-tier model is appropriate for SharePoint Server 2010. However, for small scale farms, it is possible to consolidate the presentation and application tiers. This paper provides a basic reference architecture that maps SharePoint roles into this consolidated model, and then extends the architecture to provide high-availability and redundancy across the server farm.

The paper discusses key criteria and decision points that determine what server and storage hardware is appropriate for a small-sized SharePoint Server 2010 farm. It offers guidelines for determining how much storage space should be allocated, and when separate storage volumes are needed. The intent of this paper is to describe the important planning criteria, and for administrators to begin mapping their plan to a specific farm topology and well-suited hardware components; Dell offers specific guidance through consulting and other services.

A companion paper, SharePoint Server 2010: An Introduction, is available It offers an overview of SharePoint Server 2010, and provides common concepts and definitions that form a good basis for understanding the reference architectures presented in this paper.

Link to whitepaper

Link to other whitepapers on SharePoint farm Reference Architecture

Link to whitepapers on Performance Study of a SharePoint Farm