Logical SharePoint Farm Architecture for Small and Medium Farms
For those who do not belong to SharePoint administration or architect background, let me tell you that any typical implementation of SharePoint is known as SharePoint Farm. Based on the customer requirements and needs these farms are broadly classified into three categories Small, Medium and Large. I haven’t heard anything like “Huge” though a Medium or Large implementations may even scale beyond single geo-location.
What is a SharePoint Farm?
A SharePoint farm is a collection of SharePoint servers or SQL servers that work in concert to provide a set of basic SharePoint services that support a single site.
Each of these multiple servers are further layered within each type of farm and broadly there are three layers viz… Web Front End server(s) or WFE or Front End layer, Application server(s) layer, and database server(s) layer.
Below figure shows a logical view of all these layers/tiers for small and medium SharePoint farm
The servers drawn in grey represent adding servers to that particular layer of the farm for scaling up of the farm, adversely removing or decommissioning of servers from a layer means scaling down of the farm.
Visualizing this way, now you know if you are responsible for managing infrastructure for Payroll application developed on SharePoint, you might want to scale-up the infrastructure during the critical period (like end of month) and again scale-down during rest of the time in the month.