The public beta for SharePoint 2016 is upon us. And we can all experience the new MinRole feature. This feature is described somewhat by Bill Baer at Ignite 2015 (BRK2188) and on his blog and preview documentation is available.
What the Product Team has done is using the guidance, what seems like the PLA to me, that was available and put this into code. This allows a SharePoint Farm to “know” which server has what role. And that helps with:
- Upgrades; Which can be performed online
- Reduce Storage requirements; Only those bits needed are stored on the server
The following table (by Bill Baer) describes what roles we will get with MinRole in SharePoint 2016:
|Special Load||Reserved for services to be isolated from other services, I.e. 3rd party, PerformancePoint, etc.|
|Web Front End||Services end user requests, optimized for low latency.|
|Single Server Farm||Provisions all services on the server for a single server deployment. This role is provided for evaluation and development purposes.|
|Search||Reserved for Search services.|
|Application||Services the backend jobs or the requests triggered by backend jobs, optimized for high throughput.|
|Distributed Cache||Services distributed cache for the farm. Optionally, the server assigned to this role can load balance end user requests among the web front ends.|
In short, and this is how it is sold to us: “In SharePoint Server 2016 documentation was put into code based on the experience of running SharePoint at scale in Office 365.”
To use MinRole in all of its glory, you will need each Role to be present in a Farm at least 2 times. This will result in an 8 server farm minimal, excluding Online Office Apps, SQL Server, Workflow and ADFS etc. And that is something to remember here. There will be hordes of partners who will start selling these farms.
To me, I think this is going to be a risk. Customers will think they get a “SharePoint Online” farm but are actually confrontend with unnecessary large farms.
What MinRole is not, and why I wrote this post :
- It is not the only option to create SharePoint 2016 Farms
- It will not give you a SharePoint Online Farm in your Datacenter
- It is not a requirement for Hybrid scenario’s
- It does not free you of planning and designing your Farm
- It does not free you of Service Management and Patch Management
- And it is not the answer to life, universe and everything
We can still build SharePoint 2016 farms the way we used to with SharePoint Server 2013 . That is where the Special Load ( name might change ) role comes in. We can build out farms with less servers if we want to.
My Advice: Make sure the requirements warrant a MinRole Farm!