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Difference of Index Partition and Creating Service application in partitioned Mode


Hi All, 

I am sharing the response and question which I received on my mail based on past post : “Configure search topology in scale out mode in SharePoint 2013”  .

What I received is “If we are using index partition and replica, then why we are not creating Search service application in Partitioned Mode” . and shared me with a link of some other blog.

So what is the in and out of that is:

  1. There might that readers relate Index partition with Search Service application in Partitioned mode.
  2. It also might be possible that some experts combined and created Search Application in partitioned mode and Index partition in single Blog.

None of the above possibilities is wrong nor the experts blogs. But to clear the things is the main aim of this post.

So what is this Partitioned mode, Let’s understand with 2 examples:

  1. Suppose we have Search service application and metadata service application . If other division want separate metadata and search service, we create the same. But what to be done , If every other department want it separate service. In that case we will Create “Partitioned Service Application” . Which help us to create data separate in spite of using single service application and same database.

  2. Secondly if we are using Hosted SharePoint or SharePoint Online and we want separate search for every Tenant based on Site Subscription. In that case also we will create a Partitioned Service application.

This is what referred as Multi Tenancy in SharePoint.

Example of Creating a search application in partitioned mode. It just needed to add a switch (Partitioned) using PowerShell


To Create Search Service Application

$SPServiceApplication = New-SPEnterpriseSearchServiceApplication -Name $SPSearchServiceName -ApplicationPool “Learning\Test1” -DatabaseName $SPDatabaseName -Partitioned

To Create Search Service Application Proxy

New-SPEnterpriseSearchServiceApplicationProxy -Name $SPSearchServiceProxyName -SearchApplication $SPServiceApplication –Partitioned

For reference of this command you can refer the post: “How to Configure Search in SharePoint 2013”.

Note: Although Non-Partitioned service application can be created using CA or PowerShell. But Partitioned service application can be created only with PowerShell.

Now what is Index Partition and Replica

Index Architecture(component) is divided into Index Partition and Index Replica. Index can be divided into index partition or called as discrete portion which is stored in disk. It enable scaling in two ways:

  1.  Index partition are added to handle the Crawl load or Crawl Volume. It can be created based on your crawl volume of data.
  2. Index Replica are added to handle the Query load or volume. So if you are getting large query load you can create replica accordingly.

Hope, I am able to explain the difference between Index Partition and creating service application in Partitioned mode.

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Hope this help