Simple Guide to Add Additional Web Servers for your existing SharePoint

By | April 18, 2015

Yesterday we showed you how to make your SharePoint server Fail-over aware now to complete the full High Availability for your SharePoint we will be adding additional Web Servers to your SharePoint Farm.
You might be asking why you need to do this? Well the main reason is making your SharePoint Web Server available all times, so if a server is down the other one can take over, similar to the database fail-over reason.  This is just one of the benefits another important one is you can easily add patches to the Windows Server Environment easily and restart them without affecting your users.

Convinced yet? Let start and  you will be surprised it’s quite easy to do, it’s just like installing a software.

Lets start by setting up your new SharePoint server, the one what will mirror the primary.  This means you already have an environment setup with Windows.  First step is to install the prerequisites.

01 Install Pre Requisites

Once finished, it will restart a couple of times

02 Restart a Lot of Times

Then you will get a confirmation is complete

03 Pre Requisite Installation Completed

Now install SharePoint (This is applicable to all SharePoint 2013 versions even Foundation)

04 Install Sharepoint

Choose a complete setup

05 Choose Complete

Click Next

06 Run Configuration Wizard

Then Yes

07 Choose Yes on IIS

Now you choose Connect to an existing server farm

08 Connect to a Farm

Indicate your current SQL Server, click retrieve Database Names and Choose your SharePoint configuration database, by default its SharePoint_Config.

09 Choose Farm Databases

Type in the Passphrase you used before when initially setting up your SharePoint for the first time.

10 Indicate Passphrase

Proceed and choose advanced settings

11 Completing Setup

Choose use this machine to host the web site, this means you have your Central Administration redundant as well.

12 Host Admin

Check if everything is correct

13 Finishing

Then click next and wait

14 Installing

Once finished you will have a Confirmation Screen.

15 Configuration Successful

At this point you’re done, really! you’re finished. All you can do now is confirm if the setup went well by going to Central Administration -> System Settings -> Manage Servers in Farm

16 Check Farm Components

You will see that your new server is connected

Then you can try it, open two browsers, first point to the original URL then the next point it to the new server name, you will see it will serve exactly the same contents.

17 Try it out

But wait, if you have turned the Minimal Download Strategy feature then you might encounter something similar to the screenshot below when going to other links.

This is because of the additional “/_layouts/15/start.aspx#” on the URL.

18 URL Issues

if you disable the Minimal Download Strategy that will disappear.

18a Deactivate Minimal Download Strategy

Now everyone is happy 🙂 Up to your network engineers to do their work on the URL automatic redirection when one site is down but at this point your SharePoint will run on multiple servers.

19 URL Issues

Important Point to Consider :
The patches on your main SharePoint Server should be the same on this new SharePoint Web Front End Mirror otherwise you will receive an error that states “Failed to connect to the existing server farm located at the specified database name. The database name is not a valid configuration database”. To get an exact list of updates go to your Programs and Features under Installed Updates.

2 thoughts on “Simple Guide to Add Additional Web Servers for your existing SharePoint

  1. Jessa Pumatong


    Thank you for your very useful and knowledgeable posts about SharePoint. I have been saved from couple of headaches because I have stumbled upon your posts.

    But I have experiencing some problems with this specific tutorial. I have the same goal, to add another Web Server to host my SharePoint sites. What I want to achieve is that even if one of the server is down, the sites are still accessible.

    I followed your tutorial. Installing SharePoint to another Web Server was done with ease. But I have a problem. I can access Central Admin using both servers fine(e.g. http://server1:55555/ and http://server2:55555/), but I cannot access the Site Collections using the second server (e.g. http://server1:54321/sites/teamsite/ is working but http://server2:54321/sites/teamsite/ is not). I checked with IIS Manager and the Applications and web sites on Server1 are the same with Server2, so I am not sure where to the error is coming from. Is there any additional configuration I need to do to achieve my goal?

    I am no SharePoint expert, so I will really appreciate any help.

    Thank so much!

  2. Pingback: Cannot access site collection on new web server hosting SharePoint | Question and Answer

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