Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Reconfigure FAST Search Server Topology

Despite an excellent GUI for configuring the FAST Search Server for SharePoint, all the topology of your FAST servers exists in the deployment.XML file. This defines the servers and services activated on each server, as well as defines cluster groups for index and query processing. After a successful configuration, there are few options to reconfigure FAST topology. At a drastic level, you can uninstall FAST and start over again. Or you can reconfigure your setup by modifying the deployment.xml file located in (for example):

C:\{FAST_INSTALL_DIR}\etc\config_data\deployment\deployment.xml.

Once you have edited this file and reconfigured your topology, run through the following steps:

  • Stop the FAST Search for SharePoint service on the Admin server.
  • Stop the FAST Search for SharePoint Monitoring service on the Admin server.
  • Verify the account you are logged into the machine with if a part of the local group called "FASTSearchAdministrators".
  • Open a Microsoft FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint management shell (this is PowerShell with added hooks for FAST, and is available through the Start menu).
  • In order to recreate your configuration (and numerous configuration files on the server) you need to run the following command in the management shell:

"Set-FASTSearchConfiguration"

This should run successfully, scrape your deployment.XML file for your new configuration and apply changes to your topology.

  • Restart the FAST Search for SharePoint service. This will automatically start other required services.
  • Back inside the management shell, run the following command to confirm what processes are running on the server:

"nctrl status"

Real World Business Case:

I had avoided configuring FAST as a stand-alone server. I wanted to allow my client to add FAST processing servers later on, and configuring as a stand-alone would not allow that. With my first pass of FAST configuration, I forgot to declare the single admin server as an indexer and query processing node with my initial deployment.XML file. I was able to add these two processes to the admin server by fixing my deployment.XML file, and running the reconfiguration steps as outlined above.