SharePoint 2010 vs SP2010 + FAST vs SP 2013 Search Capabilities Comparison

I put together this article to highlight the enterprise search capabilities that are provided in SharePoint Server 2010, FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint, and what’s new in SharePoint 2013. Info presented is tailored towards the search experience desired in typical environments, focusing on key elements and functionality.

O = available † = improved in 2013

Features and Capabilities SharePoint Server 2010 FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint SharePoint Server 2013 Enterprise
Keyword Query Language
Keyword Query Language (KQL) KQL is the default query language for building search queries. Using KQL, you specify the search terms or property restrictions that are passed to the SharePoint search service.
FAST Query Language (FQL)
FAST Query Language (FQL) syntax and Keyword Query Language (KQL) syntax for advanced search queries.
Directly Integrated into SharePoint
Meet the scale and performance needs of your entire organization or the specialized needs of individual departments.
Search Analytics
The search system determines the relevance of search results in part by how content is connected, how often an item appears in search results, and which search results people click.
List/Library Inline Search
Search input box that focuses on current SharePoint List/Library, negating the need for end users to “Ctrl-F” search via their web browser – search all items in current list through the convenient additional search box.
Search from Mobile Devices & Tablets
Search beyond the search center. Conduct searches from the Windows desktop and on your mobile device.
Continuous Crawling
Setting this option eliminates the need to schedule incremental crawls and automatically starts crawls as necessary to keep the search index fresh.
Display Templates
Create completely customizable templates for display of search results,
Taxonomy tag integration
Bring the power of taxonomy into search. Tag metadata is shown in results, and users can refine by taxonomy-based tags.
Metadata-driven refinement panel
With the refinement, users can narrow the results of their searches and navigate to the right content faster.
Discover structure and entities in unstructured content
You can store these entities in your search index as separate managed properties and use those properties later — for example, in search refiners.
Phonetic and nickname search
Confidently search for a person’s name as it sounds – without worrying about the exact spelling.
Search Diagnostics
You can access and analyze several query and crawl health reports, logs and usage reports from the Search service application in the SharePoint 2013 Central Administration to monitor the health of the search system.
Contextual search
Tailor different results and refinement options based on the profile of the user or audience.
Thumbnails and previews
Thumbnails and previews make the results of a search query visual, allowing users to recognize the right content quickly.
> 500m content volume with sub-second query response time
Scale to extremes with FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint & Integrated FAST in SharePoint 2013 while maintaining sub-second query response times.

I have also attached several documents which provide in-depth detail on the products described;

Getting Started with Enterprise Search in SharePoint 2010 Products : General Enterprise Search Guidance for SharePoint 2010
oit2013-model-sharepoint-search-architecture: Search Architectures for SharePoint 2013 diagram
sp-2013-enterprise-search-model: Enterprise Search Architectures for SharePoint 2013, includes hardware specs.

SharePoint Search Licensing Overview

SharePoint licensing is a complex subject. As well as there being multiple product configuration options, license prices often depend on a number of factors such as the type of organization, the relationship with Microsoft and/or licensing retailer etc.

As a general rule, if you are interested in giving all internal users access to FAST search via SharePoint 2010 Enterprise, you are looking at roughly twice the licensing costs of an installation using the standard features. In SharePoint 2013 Enterprise, FAST functionality is included in the Enterprise CAL’s. FAST Search for SharePoint 2010 is licensed separately so to take advantage of all the enterprise search features you will need additional server licenses for servers running the FAST Search software.

It is also possible to use a single server for any of the above server licenses. For example if you wanted to run an Intranet and a public Internet website on the same server you could apply the SharePoint 2010 Server license as well as the SharePoint 2010 Internet Sites license to a single server. A FAST license can also be applied to a SharePoint 2010 server if required (saving hardware costs but still requiring SharePoint Server and FAST licenses).

itgroove can offer specific license recommendations when the SharePoint version platform is decided.

SharePoint 2013 Search Boundary Key Changes
As perhaps a trade-off for the tight integration of FAST functionality into SharePoint 2013, there are some significant new restrictions in topology that should be known, as they affect search architecture planning:

Limit SP 2010 SP 2013
Crawl Databases 10 per Search Service Application 5 per Search Service Application
Crawl Components 16 per Search Service Application 2 per Search Service Application
Index Partitions 20 per Search Service Application 20 per Search Service Application
Link DB N/A 2 per Search Service Application
Query Processing Component N/A 1 per server
Content Processing Component N/A 1 per server
Analytics Processing Component N/A 6 per Search SA

Although most organizations should be able to meet their immediate requirements for Search with a single Search Service Application (ideally on a single, dedicated SharePoint web application), these limitations should be noted for future expansion. This design sample shows the logical architecture and interaction of search components, and an example of a fault-tolerant server farm that provides enterprise search for a content corpus that contains approximately 40 million items:

Topology Changes from SharePoint 2010

When designing your topology, it is important to understand what has changed since SharePoint 2010 Search and the performance of the components. Due to the technical changes some of them need to be ideally separated onto separate servers when scaling up or if you have a large search user base. In a small to medium farm of 2 to 4 SharePoint servers in SharePoint 2010, the recommendation was to place the query component on the web front end servers. In a medium sized search orientated farm it was recommended to have three physical tiers consisting of separate web front end servers, query servers and crawl servers.

In SharePoint 2013, even with a small farm of two SharePoint servers it is recommended to place the query services on a separate server from the web front end server. The query and crawl services can run together on a separate server. This is applicable for up to four SharePoint servers but once you increase the number of servers, it is recommended to split out the query and crawl components onto their own servers and leave the remaining service applications together.

Here’s the official guidance on modifying your SharePoint Server 2013 Search Topology:

Here’s a couple more great posts from two stand-up guys on how to modify your search topology:
Changing the SharePoint 2013 Search Topology
New-SPEnterpriseSearchIndexComponent could not find part of the path error

How you structure your architecture depends on what you intend to use it for, be it enterprise or for the internet. There are a number of considerations to take into account such as high availability, fault tolerance, the amount of content and the number of queries you will receive.

The query processing component takes most of the load off the SQL server including disk space load and CPU, it therefore requires more local resources than in SharePoint 2010. The query processing component ideally, therefore, should be on its own dedicated server. The index component is equally resource hungry, because it performs two roles in communicating to the query processing component and the content processing component.

The index is the main store of information from the crawled content and can be split into multiple partitions to scale up and provide fault tolerance. Another thing to consider, if you are crawling a large amount of data, it is advisable to have a dedicated web server for crawling. The diagram below is an extract from a TechNet article on topologies, which shows the optimum environment for search oriented environment:
search index

Technical Diagrams for SharePoint 2013 Search

Title Description
SharePoint Server 2013 SearchIC663131
Zoom into the model in full detail with from Microsoft (best on desktop or laptop computers)Visio version (best for users with Visio)PDF version (best for mobile devices or tablet computers)
This design sample shows the logical architecture and interaction of search components, and an example of a fault-tolerant server farm that provides enterprise search for a content corpus that contains approximately 40 million items. For more information, see the following articles:

Enterprise Search Architectures for SharePoint Server 2013IC673360
Zoom into the model in full detail with from Microsoft (best on desktop or laptop computers)Visio version (best for users with Visio)PDF version (best for mobile devices or tablet computers)
This design sample illustrates small, medium, and large-size farm architectures for enterprise search. It contains search and farm topology examples, scaling guidance, and hardware requirements. For more information, see Overview of search in SharePoint Server 2013.
Internet Sites Search Architectures for SharePoint Server 2013IC663133
Zoom into the model in full detail with from Microsoft (best on desktop or laptop computers)Visio version (best for users with Visio)PDF version (best for mobile devices or tablet computers)
This design sample provides guidance on the hardware requirements and performance considerations for Internet Sites search topologies. In addition, the model contains an example medium-sized Internet Sites farm. For more information, see Plan for Internet, intranet, and extranet publishing sites in SharePoint Server 2013.

FAST Search, SharePoint 2013 Search, SharePoint Search

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