Skip to content

Why HNSCs in a Single Web Application? and Best Practices in SharePoint 2013..

February 1, 2015

The new recommendations and path suggested by the MS is to go with single web application and multiple Host Named Site Collections (HNSCs) instead of multiple web applications as we use to do in the previous version of SharePoint.

For Software Boundaries and Limits click here.

You can still go with the additional web application if functionality is needed that can not be achieved in the web app shared by all the HNSCs e.g. different authentication requirement SAML or FBA.

I have spent lot of time building this new site architecture and during my research I put together some notes (with links) from different articles written by MVPs and other famous authors/TechNet.

I used this during the implementation and share and show the importance of this new architecture and how to implement e.g. no manual IIS bindings and other best practices.  I thought I will share this online as well for quick reference for others too.

If you have been playing with this new model and want to show your client the importance of this new structure you can use these points mentioned below and feel free to add any additional in the comment section.

  1. From TechNet “The recommended configuration for deploying sites is using host-named site collections with all sites located within a single web application, as illustrated in the following diagram.”

    • From the same TechNet link mentioned above “We recommend host-named site collections  unless requirements dictate that path-based sites with alternate access mapping are necessary”
    • From the link mentioned above “You can use host-named and path based site collections in the same web application. To ensure that both types of site collections are accessible to users, do not put host header bindings on the IIS website of your web application”
  2. Corporate Portal with Host named site collection
  3. Why only One Web App is recommended : “ The problem is that even the base binaries needed to load a Site into memory (e.g. using separate web apps) has a high performance impact — and given that people generally want vanity URLs, which meant separate Web Apps in the past, HNSC is a great alternative.”
  4. As per MVP , Paul Stork “Yes you can add a host header in the IIS binding after the fact, but it’s not a supported design from Microsoft’s point of view and I really wouldn’t recommend it.”” link :
  5. Brenda (MSFT) talks about a Single Web Application “New features and existing features are optimized to work with host-named site collections like never before. However, it’s not just the feature that is important. It’s how it is configured — all host-named site collections are deployed to a single web application. The App model and Request Management, for example, are optimized for this configuration.”
  6. Maximum number of web application is 20 but as per the same TechNet article “We recommended limiting the number of web applications as much as possible. Create additional host named site collections where possible instead of adding web applications.”
  7. As per Trevor, MVP “You should try to limit the number of Web Applications (preferably 1). You can mix HNSC and Path-Based site collections within the same Web Application.”
  8. Logical Architecture Guidance for SharePoint by Steve Peschka. Benefits of one Web Application
  9. MVP, Trevor says regarding single Web App and single AppPool “The Microsoft model provides far better scalability than individual Web Applications would. Each Web Application (or Application Pool) has a significant amount of overhead, just in the base binaries alone. This is why Microsoft is encouraging towards a single Web Application + single Application Pool + host-based site collection model”
  10. Removing IIS binding manually by Russ Maxwell “When you create a web application and specify a host header URL, you stamp the host header URL on the spwebapplication object which is stored in the objects table in the configuration database. When you try to change the host header URL by updating the Alternate Access Mapping and manually update the bindings in IIS, the SPWebApplication object is never updated so it continues to maintain knowledge of the original host header URL and not the new one. When you start the Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Web Application service in Central Admin, the information from the associated SPWebApplication object in the configuration database is used when instantiating IIS Sites. This is why the original host header URL shows up.”
    Also see this where MS recommend to remove IIS binding manually.
  11. Last but my favorite ,One of the best article written by Trevor Seward to show comparison of resources usage when use multiple web applications vs single web application with multiple HNSCs.

Feel free to add any comments or share your thoughts …

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: