Monday, June 20, 2011

Distribute and Load Balance SharePoint Central Administration site

Its a best practice to Distribute and Load balance the SharePoint Central Administration site at least to two servers in the Farm. This will be extremely helpful in the event of one server failure and of course Microsoft supports this 100%.

How do I distribute Central Administration to 2 servers?
Lets say we have two servers: G1SPS01 and G1SPS02. Say G1SPS01 hosts Central Admin and G1SPS02 doesn't currently.

To add SharePoint Central Administration role to the Server G1SPS02, run SharePoint Configuration Wizard on the Server G1SPS02 and at the "Completing the SharePoint Products and Technologies Configuration Wizard" step, click on Advanced Settings, Select "Use this machine to host the website" to add SharePoint Central Administration role and click OK. Click Next to start the configuration wizard

After the configuration wizard completes successfully, you will have additional server providing Central Administration role.

How do I verify that my new server has Central Admin role?
In SharePoint Central Administration site, Under the operations tab, open servers in the Farm link, Now you should see Central administration is listed in both servers.

load balanced sharepoint central administration

Do these 2 Fixes aftermath:

Once we provision Central Admin site in new server, We have to do these two fixes because:
  1. Launching the "Central Administration" in G1SPS02 from Start menu shortcut open the Central Administration of G1SPS01. This is because the shortcut runs PSconfigUI.exe and reads a Registry key to determine Central Administration URL.

            2. Hitting https://G1SPS02:2007/ from G1SPS02 launches the Central Admin, But further navigating to other pages redirects to the another server https://G1SPS01:2007/. So do these two fixes.

Fix 1: Change the Alternate Access Mapping
  • Open “SharePoint 2010 Central Administration” Select “Configure alternate access mappings” under Operations tab.
  • Select “Change Alternate Access Mapping Collection” and then Select “Central Administration”
  • Click “Edit Public URLs”
  • Make the changes as The Default is “https://G1SPS02:2007" and for the Intranet “https://G1SPS01:2007”.load balance central administration sharepoint 2010

Fix 2: Change the Central Administration Shortcut in Registry:
Central Admin shortcut in Start menu reads the registry string: CentralAdministrationURL under HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Shared Tools\Web Server Extensions\12.0\WSS

Change it in your new server G1SPS02 in that server.
Distribute and Load Balance SharePoint Central Administration site

Now, We have distributed the Central Administration site. You can setup a Load balancer to really load balance it. You can edit the Host headers in IIS. Also you can change the existing Central Admin ports by: stsadm –o setadminport –port 2010

Hmm, What is you failed to do this earlier? Don't panic. Still you can manage by provisioning SharePoint central Admin site:  psconfig -cmd adminvs -provision -port 2012 -windowsauthprovider "onlyusentlm"

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