Web Front End servers in the server farm are not consistent in the services they run

  • Web Front End servers in the server farm are not consistent in the services they run Kashif

    I have successfully configured a SharePoint farm of 4 nodes but I got intermittent database connection failure errors. I have to restart SharePoint services and IIS to fix the database errors. Mostly these are SSPI errors but sometimes the error message just says "unable to connect to config database".

    In SharePoint configuration I went to "Application Management -> Check Services Enabled in this Farm" and it shows me two warnings. I am wandering if the second warning has anything to do with these intermittent database errors. And, I want to know how can I solve these warnings.

    Warning 1

    Service: Office SharePoint Server Search

    Issue: The search service is using an account assigned to the Farm Administrators group to crawl content for Shared Services Provider SharedServices2. The crawl will include documents that are not published.

    Impact: Search results for Shared Services Provider SharedServices2 may contain documents that are not published.

    Warning 2

    Service:Web Front Ends

    Issue:Web Front End servers in the server farm are not consistent in the services they run.

    Impact:Users may have intermittent failures while trying to access Web pages in this server farm.


    Thanks for your reply. I understand about the first warning and I just left it as it is. However, same set of services are running on each WFE not sure what is different let me show you what is running no each server.

    Under the link "Servers in Farm":

    mail server     Windows SharePoint Services Outgoing E-Mail
    WFE1             Incoming Mail, Windows SharePoint Services Web Application
    WFE2             Incoming Mail, Windows SharePoint Services Web Application
    WFE3             Central Administration
                     Excel Calculation Services 
                     Office SharePoint Server Search 
                     Windows SharePoint Services Help Search 
                     Windows SharePoint Services Incoming E-Mail 
                     Windows SharePoint Services Web Application
    WFE4             Windows SharePoint Services Database

    Update 2

    Now I've again configured the SharePoint Farm as per your instructions but still getting the same warning. Please let me know if I am running any extra or wrong service on any of the machine.

    xxx            Windows SharePoint Services Outgoing E-Mail 
    QCTest1        Windows SharePoint Services Database 
    QCTEST10       Office SharePoint Server Search  
    *Note QCTest10 is the application server (Query and Index server)
    QCTEST11       Central Administration 
                   Excel Calculation Services 
                   Windows SharePoint Services Help Search 
                   Windows SharePoint Services Incoming E-Mail 
                   Windows SharePoint Services Web Application 
    QCTEST7        Windows SharePoint Services Incoming E-Mail 
                   Windows SharePoint Services Web Application 
    *NOTE:  QCTEST7 is dedicated for Crawler as well.
    QCTEST8  Windows SharePoint Services Incoming E-Mail 
    Windows SharePoint Services Web Application 

  • The first thing to consider is whether you really do have services running on some WFEs but not others. This will clearly cause problems as SharePoint expects this to be consisent, since whatever load balancer you use for WFEs has no awareness of any differences.

    Check the 'Services on Server' page (/_admin/Server.aspx), and toggle the Server dropdown between your WFE nodes. Look for any differences in the running services, and resolve.

    Your first warning should also be dealt with - the crawl account should not be a farm administrator.

  • In an number of situations I've have had minor differences with the Web Front Ends without the db connection errors you mentioned. The validation message is just a means to warn you that you configuration may have problems, and from looking at the services on WFE 3 I would tend to agree.

    As Chris mentioned, you really want to configure the Index server as an "app server" versus a Web Front End. You may want to bring up a 4th server to move the Index Server role to it.

    In a few environments I've had a load balancer in front of n WFEs and then I have another web front end not behind the load balancer that runs CA and maybe Excel Calc Services. In this case I'll see the message about services not being consistent.

    Here is a good link for understanding the roles: http://www.sharepointjoel.com/Lists/Posts/Post.aspx?List=0cd1a63d-183c-4fc2-8320-ba5369008acb&ID=174

    Lastly, the search account. You want it to be a domain account with read access to the databases, not an admin account. An admin account will prevent the security trimming from happening properly.

error database
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