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In SharePoint 2013, configuring Enterprise Search topologies to optimize farm performance is an important part of configuring an Enterprise Search architecture. Microsoft provides detailed guidelines for which components can or should be hosted on which boxes in a SharePoint farm, and using PowerShell, you can distribute the Enterprise Search Components of a Search Service Application as necessary.

When an organization has two or more Search Service Applications in the same farm (for content separation, for example), there are certain limits that must be observed.

In particular, their is a supported limit on the number of Query Processing Components per server: 1

Query_Component_Limit

 

 

Microsoft’s documentation of this limit is not always entirely clear and can be confusing, as below, which should be read as referring to two different search components when considering the Query Processing Component.

Query_component_Limits

However, this limit is a “Supported” limit, which according to Microsoft means it is a guideline “determined by performance. In other words, you can exceed the default values of the limits, but as you increase the limit value, farm performance and the effective value of other limits may be affected.”

One of our customers has had two Query Processing Components for two different Enterprise Search Service Application installed on the same server for about a year without apparent negative impact. Search performs as expected. However, search volume is low. Your mileage may vary.

And, during our most recent Microsoft Health Check review for that farm, the Microsoft PFE pointed it out as an unsupported Search configuration.

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