SharePoint Server Roles for the Upcoming SharePoint Online 2016 Release

Microsoft Ignite 2015 Highlight


Bill Baer, Microsoft Technical Product Manager and Certified Master presents “What’s New for IT Professionals in SharePoint Server 2016” at Microsoft Ignite 2015.

In typical SharePoint deployments, SharePoint servers typically serve a dedicated server “role”, depending on which features have been enabled.  For example, Web Front End and App servers are common dedicated roles.  But without much guidance from Microsoft, customers have implemented various implementations of such roles, with some mixed results.  As an effort to control the chaos, Microsoft developed “Specialized Server Roles”, which are defined via the SharePoint Configuration Wizard.  SharePoint server roles for 2016 include:

Server Roles

  • Specialized – provides an agnostic role a la 2010 – recommended for 3rd party service in order to accommodate that need
  • Web Front End
  • Search
  • Application
  • Distributed Cache
  • OR Single Server Farm – requires to install SQL server on the same machine.  SQL Express is no longer supported.

SharePoint Server Roles, dubbed “MinRole” as an internal name, will be monitored by Health Analyzer to detect and report any deviation from the role standards.  For example, this could happen if an admin extends SharePoint search onto a Web Front End server.  In the Central Admin Servers in Farm page, an admin can click a “Fix” link to bring the server back into the expected alignment of the server role.