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SharePoint infrastructure basics
SharePoint can be thought of as an enterprise portal, intranet, content management and collaboration tool that provides indexing and search, document versioning and a Web-based development platform. It's a multitiered application consisting primarily of Web front-ends (WFEs), application servers and database servers. While these three components could theoretically reside on a single server, in most cases multiple servers are used. A collection of these servers constitute a SharePoint farm (see "Sample Microsoft SharePoint farm," below). Each SharePoint farm contains one common configuration database and one or more content databases.
|Sample Microsoft SharePoint farm|
An enterprise SharePoint implementation may consist of multiple farms, each with numerous WFEs, application servers and content databases. In addition, special-purpose servers for indexing and application support, such as Excel Calculation Services servers or Microsoft Project servers, can reside within a farm. With these varied components, it's easy to see how a SharePoint environment can become a data protection nightmare. While most of the data resides in content databases, data related to the farm itself and its components resides in the configuration database, while customization and other special-purpose information for the WFEs, application servers, index servers and so on sits on each of these systems themselves. As a result, managing all of these diverse elements requires a good deal of planning.
This was first published in May 2007