Changing the SharePoint 2013 Search Topology

Unlike in 2010, where you can change the search topology with a few clicks of your mouse in the UI (found about half way through this article under the title “Adjusting the Search Application Topology”), SharePoint 2013 does not play as nicely, at least if your mouse is your precious.

In SharePoint 2013, this is all done via PowerShell, and there’s no two ways about it.  The following article does a great job of walking you through the technique.

Change SharePoint 2013 Search Topology by Kathryn Birstein

There’s a couple of issues I’ve noted in the article (unfortunately there’s no contact information for the author, so I was unable to pass these along to her).

  • image
    Be aware that when the article is using the terms “www” (in the image above) and “appserv”, they’re referring to your server DNS short names.  So if your server names are and, replace “www” with “SPWFE1”.
  • About half way through the article, the author refers to the following PowerShell command “NewSPEnterpriseSearchTopology”, it’s actually “New-SPEnterpriseSearchTopology”, so it should read
    $newTopology = New-SPEnterpriseSearchTopology -SearchApplication $ssa

Otherwise, that article is a great step-by-step procedure, and help you end up in a situation where you’ve got all the roles on the APP server, and only the “Query Processing” role on the WFE (as everything should be) – See below.


Alternatively, there’s a TechNet article which goes through a similar same procedure.

4 responses to “Changing the SharePoint 2013 Search Topology

  1. Be Careful,

    There is a small small remark in that Technet Article saying your Index must be empty when doing it.

    If it’s not empty… say bye bye to your Service Application.

    Personal Experience 🙂

  2. It’s good to know that for the New-SPEnterpriseSearchIndexComponent command, there is an additional parameter -RootDirectory which let’s one specify the new file path where the index should be moved to.

    $NewIndexPath = “E:SharePointIndex”
    New-SPEnterpriseSearchIndexComponent -SearchTopology $newTopology -SearchServiceInstance $wfeserv -RootDirectory $NewIndexPath

    Problem is, this is currently buggy when the source and destination paths differ- see for a workaround.

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