Add a database server to an existing farm (SharePoint Server 2010)


Applies to: SharePoint Server 2010, SharePoint Foundation 2010

This article provides information about adding a new database server to an existing Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 farm. You can add additional database servers at any time in response to business or operations requirements. Because the database server contains the farm content, which can consist of diverse types of data and can have a rapidly growing document collection, the size of the farm databases can grow rapidly. Although storage capacity is a key factor driving the need to add additional database servers, other factors are adding new features, performance, and high availability.


In the case of high availability, this is typically implemented as part of the initial farm topology design and deployment; and is not included in this article. For more information about high availability forMicrosoft SQL Server 2008, see High Availability Solutions Overview (

In most cases, all that is required to add a database server to an existing SharePoint Server 2010 farm is to set up and configure a new database server and join it to the farm by referencing the new server when you add a feature or move database content from the old server to the new one. SharePoint Server 2010 will automatically allocate and assign new database resources as necessary when they are required.

In this article:

  • Prepare the new database server

  • Configure and use the new database server

Prepare the new database server

Before you can use the new database server, you need to prepare it so it can be used in a Microsoft SharePoint Server farm. Use the following steps as guidance for provisioning the new server.


IT policy may require that some or all of the steps given in these procedures be performed by a database administrator (DBA). Before beginning any of the following procedures, ensure that you are complying with your company's IT policy requirements.

To provision the database server

  1. Review Hardware and software requirements (SharePoint Server 2010)

  2. Install the operating system, ensuring that:

    • The drive configuration is the same as the existing server.

    • The operating system is updated to the same service pack or hotfix level as the existing server.

  3. Install the same version of SQL Server that is installed on the existing farm database server. The procedures in this article are intended to show how to configure a new database server for a specific task in SharePoint Server 2010.

    For information about installing and configuring SQL Server before adding it to an existing server farm, see the SQL Server installation documentation.

  4. Configure SQL Server, confirming the following:

    • The database collation is LATIN1_General_CI_AS_KS_WS.

    • Membership in the SQL Server database dbcreator fixed server role and the Farm Administrators SharePoint group is the minimum requirement to perform the procedures in this article.

    • A login account is created for the SharePoint Server Setup user account. This account will be the database owner for the new database.

  5. Install the same SQL Server service packs and hotfixes that are installed on the existing database server.

Configure and use the new database server

Use the following procedures as a guide for configuring a new database server to host specific SharePoint Server 2010 databases. This includes:

  • Creating a new Web application

  • Moving a site collection to the new server

You can use either Central Administration or Windows PowerShell to create a new Web application; however, you must use Windows PowerShell to move a site collection.

To create a new Web application

  1. Verify that you have the correct credentials on the SharePoint Server farm and on SQL Server.

  2. Use the Application Management page on the Central Administration Web site to create a new Web site.

  3. Configure either classic mode authentication (Windows authentication) or claims-based authentication.

  4. Configure IIS to use either the existing Web site or create a new Web site and configure the following settings:

    • Specify the port number you want to use to access the Web application.

    • Provide the URL you want to use to access the Web application (optional).

    • Provide the path to the site directory on the server where the Web site is hosted.

  5. Configure authentication and encryption for your Web using the following options.

    • Negotiate (Kerberos) or NTLM authentication.

    • Anonymous access to the Web site

    • Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)

  6. Provide a URL for the domain name for all sites that users will access in this Web application.

  7. Use the existing application pool or create a new one.

  8. Configure security for the application pool (pre-defined or configurable).

  9. Identify the database server, database name, and authentication method for your new Web application.

For detailed instructions, see Create a Web application (SharePoint Server 2010).

To move a site collection by using Windows PowerShell

  1. Verify that you meet the following minimum requirements: See Add-SPShellAdmin. Also verify that the user account has access to one of the servers on which Windows PowerShell 2.0 is running, and that the user account is a Farm Administrator and is a member of the SharePoint_Shell_Access role for the SQL Server source content database, administration content database, destination content database, and configuration database.

  2. Verify that the following conditions are true:

    • The destination content database exists.

    • The source content database and destination content database reside on the same instance of SQL Server.

    • The source content database and destination content database are attached to the same Web application.

  3. Determine the size of the source site collection and verify that the destination hard disk has at least three times the free space that is required for the site collection.

    Use the Get-SPSiteAdministration cmdlet to determine the size of a site collection. For more information, see Get-SPSiteAdministration.

  4. Use the Move-SPSite cmdlets to move a site collection from the source content database to the new content database. For more information, see Move-SPSite.

For detailed instructions, see Move site collections between databases (SharePoint Server 2010).