Saturday, March 16, 2013

How to Connect to a Specific Web Front End Server in SharePoint Farm

A typical SharePoint farm may contain more than one web front end servers - load balanced. When you hit the SharePoint site URL, say: http://portal.crescent.com, it hits the load balancer first. Load balancer decides to which web front end server this request needs to be transferred based on server load and other load balancing algorithms. Here is a nifty trick to hit specific WFE, bypassing load balancer in SharePoint farm.

Connect to a Specific WFE Server in SharePoint:

  • Go to "C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\etc" in your local machine
  • Open the "HOST" file in notepad.
  • Add an entry at the end of the file with: WFE IP and SharePoint site's Host header. 
    • E.g. 10.129.150.25 extranet.crescent.com
  • Save and close the file.
  • Clear your browser cache and reopen the site.
Now you should get responses from the specified web front end server. BTW, Web Front End Server (WFE) is the one with IIS Web sites running.



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