Stretched farms are now supported with SharePoint 2013

Let’s be honest, many customers really love the stretched farm architecture because they can achieve high availability and disaster recovery at the same time (even if it is not a perfect DR solution).

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Some enterprises have data centers that are located in close proximity to one another, connected by high-bandwidth fiber optic links. When this environment is available it is possible to configure the two data centers as a single farm. This distributed farm topology is called a “stretched” farm.

When SharePoint 2013 shipped a few months ago, the bad news was that stretched farm was not supported anymore.

The good news is that it this now supported if the follow prerequisites are met :

  • There is a highly consistent intra-farm latency of <1ms (one way), 99.9% of the time over a period of ten minutes. (Intra-farm latency is commonly defined as the latency between the front-end web servers and the database servers.)
  • The bandwidth speed must be at least 1 gigabit per second.

More details here.

Data tiers of stretched farms can alos be protected with technologies like SQL Server 2012/2014 Always on Availability groups as I illustrated in this post.

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