It’s the “Custom Role” that you need to choose while deploying any third-party applications such as (Ninetex Workflows, AvePoint etc.). In addition to that, services like PerformancePoint, PowerPivot etc. would best fit in the custom role.
MinRole is truly phenomenal and would definitely reduce the risk and the time taken by a SharePoint administrator to deploy a SharePoint 2016 farm.
Opting out of MinRole:
As a SharePoint administrator, you can always say no to MinRole if you’re not planning to use it. This can be achieved by assigning some/all the servers in the farm to the custom role and then manually manage service instances on these servers. We need to consider using “ServerRoleOptional” parameter when creating a new SharePoint farm if existing deployments script needs to remain intact.
We can administer MinRole from the Central administration site and also via PowerShell
Using Central Administration site:
We can change the role of a server after it’s deployed and also check whether the server is complaint from the central administration site itself. The same can be achieved using PowerShell as well. A server in the farm which was acting as WFE today can be made as a APP tomorrow and once you change the role SharePoint will automatically turn on and off the required services .
Note: Always better to use PowerShell to change the role of a server.
Benefits of of using MinRole.
- Simpler Deployments
- Improved Performance and Reliability
- Simpler Capacity Planning and Farm Scalability.
Pre Feature pack 1
Post Feature pack 1
post FP1 you can add two roles together which will reduce the total number of servers required to build a SharePoint 2016 farm using MinRole.
This is how a custom 3 tier MinRole topology looks like. The front-end servers are benefited from MinRole. The custom server role is used to configure custom servers to run majority of SharePoint service applications and reduce the number of servers. Unlike MinRole, the services have to be manually configured on the custom server role. It’s the job of the SharePoint Administrators to configure the required services on the custom server.
Custom HA Topology with Search:
This is how this architecture has been planned,
- Two load balanced servers with Front-end role.
- Two custom servers running distributed cache, User Profile Sync, Secure Store.
- Two servers with Search server role.
- SQL servers configured with always on availability groups.
In SP 2016 MinRole Topology , since this is a role based architecture you can directly choose the role you want to deploy and MinRole will take care of the rest .
MharePoint 2016 MinRole topology architecture .
SP 2016 Min Role Topology
As shown in the image above, you need not less than 4 servers to deploy a SharePoint 2016 farm. If you’re including SQL then in that case you need at least 5 servers for MinRole. Also , Minimum configuration does not have any resiliency.
when you want to plan a SharePoint 2016 HA farm with MinRole topology .
2 Servers are required for each role . When it comes to Distributed cache three servers are required in a cluster quorum . We also need SQL availability groups to achieve HA in the SQL layer. So, in total you might require 13 servers altogether if you’re also adding Office Online server in HA .
However , this count may vary based on your architecture and planning . Please check the image below where we’ve designed a HA SharePoint 2016 farm with proper planning.In this case the total number of servers required is 18 .So important thing is , based on your business needs you can scale out the total number of servers for HA .