You may have heard the term “farm” thrown around in connection with SharePoint or other software. What does this term mean when it is used in the context, and how can it help your business with data management?
What Is a Server Farm?
A “farm” is a logical grouping of servers that share common resources and send data to multiple sites. Typically, a farm stands alone and is not connected to any outside servers, but there may be connectivity through another part of the data platform that allows users to connect to cloud-based storage, for example.
Farms can subscribe to functions from another farm or provide functions to another farm. It is not uncommon in mega-corporations or government agencies to see farms linked and sharing information across platforms. Each farm has its own central configuration database managed by an interface or a website. Each server directly interfaces with the central database to configure services and allocate resources.
How Does SharePoint Use Server Farms?
If you have a standalone SharePoint configuration for your company, the chances are that it will use a farm setup to share your server resources among your employees. SharePoint actually has two different possible configurations: online and self-contained. If you use the self-contained version of SharePoint, it is important to understand how your server is configured and whether you have a farm setup before you begin allocation storage resources.
SharePoint uses farms in two ways:
- To store information in discrete servers. If your organization relies on information being stored in particular locations to segregate it from other information, a SharePoint farm configuration may be right for you. This type of setup allows you to add an extra layer of protection for your information and to give you the ability to isolate certain data from access by the rest of your company.
- To share information between servers. If you choose, SharePoint can be configured to allow access to one or more of your servers on the part of certain employees. In a situation in which employees need access to information from more than one server, SharePoint can be configured to share that data with the designated employees while still maintaining security protocols.
SharePoint is a great way to give your company the information management tools you need. You and your employees will love the SharePoint system and how productive it can make everyone in your organization!