What Is Web Front End Server SharePoint 2013?

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Larry Thompson

In this article, we will delve into the concept of Web Front End Server in SharePoint 2013. Understanding the role and functionality of this server component is essential for anyone working with SharePoint deployments. Let’s explore what exactly a Web Front End Server is and how it contributes to the overall SharePoint architecture.

What is a Web Front End Server?

A Web Front End (WFE) Server in SharePoint 2013 is a server that handles the user requests for web pages and serves as the interface between users and the SharePoint environment. It plays a crucial role in providing a responsive and interactive user experience by efficiently processing incoming requests and rendering web content.

Key Functions of a Web Front End Server

A Web Front End Server performs several important functions within a SharePoint deployment:

  • Handling User Requests: The primary function of a WFE server is to handle all incoming user requests for SharePoint web pages, documents, lists, and other resources. It acts as a gateway between users and the SharePoint environment.
  • Rendering Web Content: The WFE server processes these user requests and renders the requested web content dynamically. It retrieves data from content databases, applies branding elements like master pages and style sheets, and generates HTML markup to display the content in the user’s browser.
  • Load Balancing: In larger SharePoint deployments where multiple WFE servers are deployed, load balancing ensures that user requests are evenly distributed across these servers.

    This helps in optimizing performance by preventing any single server from becoming overloaded.

  • Caching: To further enhance performance, WFE servers utilize caching mechanisms to store frequently accessed web content temporarily. This reduces database trips and improves response times for subsequent requests for the same content.
  • Authentication and Security: The WFE server also plays a role in user authentication and enforcing security measures. It validates user credentials, enforces access control policies, and ensures that only authorized users can access the requested resources.

Scalability and Redundancy

SharePoint deployments often require high availability and scalability to handle increasing workloads. By deploying multiple WFE servers in a farm, organizations can achieve both scalability and redundancy.

Scalability is achieved by adding more WFE servers to handle increased user traffic. Load balancing mechanisms distribute requests evenly across these servers, ensuring optimal performance even during peak times.

Redundancy is achieved by having multiple WFE servers that can take over the workload if one server fails. This ensures high availability of SharePoint services, minimizing downtime and providing uninterrupted access to resources.

In Conclusion

A Web Front End Server in SharePoint 2013 is a critical component that handles user requests, renders web content, provides load balancing, caching, authentication, and security functionalities. Understanding its role is essential for effective SharePoint administration and deployment planning.

By harnessing the power of WFE servers in combination with other SharePoint server components, organizations can create robust and scalable solutions to meet their collaboration and content management needs.

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