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SharePoint 2016: High Availability Farm Topology

MinRole concept was introduced in SharePoint 2016 and it aims to simplify the process of designing the farms. However, I still find ambiguous information about the count of servers in SharePoint 2016 farm.

Let's ask ourselves the question - What is the minimum number of servers which allow High Availability MinRole farm?

According to technet we have the following options:

Small High Availability (HA) MinRole farm
4
Four servers with two shared roles:
·        Two Front-end with Distributed Cache servers
·        Two Application with Search servers
Medium High Availability (HA) MinRole farm (Search optimized)
6
Six servers with both dedicated and shared roles:
·        Two Front-end with Distributed Cache servers
·        Two Application servers
·        Two Search servers
Medium High Availability (HA) MinRole farm (user optimized)
6
Six servers with both dedicated and shared roles:
·        Two Front-end servers
·        Two Distributed Cache servers
·        Two Application with Search servers
Large High Availability (HA) MinRole farm
8
Eight servers with four dedicated roles:
·        Two Front-end servers
·        Two Distributed Cache servers
·        Two Application servers
·        Two Search servers

But there are several articles (this one is maybe the best), that explain in details that the Distributed Cache service has two specifics:
  - we need three servers for availability of the service
  - we can have only Availability, not High Availability

So based on this information, I would transform the above table in this way:

Small High Availability (HA) MinRole farm
5
Four servers with two shared roles:
·        Three Front-end with Distributed Cache servers
·        Two Application with Search servers
Medium High Availability (HA) MinRole farm (Search optimized)
7
Six servers with both dedicated and shared roles:
·        Three Front-end with Distributed Cache servers
·        Two Application server
·        Two Search servers
Medium High Availability (HA) MinRole farm (user optimized)
6
Six servers with both dedicated and shared roles:
·        One Front-end server
·        One Front-end with Distributed Cache
·        Two Distributed Cache servers
·        Two Application with Search servers
Large High Availability (HA) MinRole farm
9
Eight servers with four dedicated roles:
·        Two Front-end servers
·        Three Distributed Cache servers
·        Two Application servers
·        Two Search servers


Finally, if one small company wants to use SharePoint 2016 platform and ensure the availability of all services, it will end up with the following infrastructure:


And remember - the roles "Front End with Distributed Cache" and "Application with Search" are available after you install the SharePoint 2016 Feature Pack 1. They are not part of the SharePoint 2016 RTW (release to web) build.

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