By Emer McKenna, Kevin Laahs, Veli-Matti Vanamo

Part of SharePoint 2010 All-in-One For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Depending on the size of your SharePoint 2100 deployment, you may have one or more SharePoint servers assigned to serve specific purposes, or roles, including these:

  • Web server: This server (also known as a front-end Web server) hosts all Web pages, Web Parts, and Web services used when your server farm receives a request for processing.

  • Application server: This server hosts the service applications running in the farm, such as Visio Services.

  • Database sever: This server stores most of the data associated with a SharePoint 2010 implementation — including configuration settings, administration information, data associated with the service applications, and user content.

  • Query server: This server is responsible for querying the index, finding the matching content, and then sending the content back to the Web servers for presentation to users.

  • Crawl server: This server crawls (accesses and catalogs) content sources and then propagates the results to the query servers. The crawl server uses a crawl database to store the URLs of all sources crawled.

Roles aren’t assigned directly to a server; instead, a server assumes a specific role in your configuration depending on what components it has installed, the services it runs, and its location within your server farm.