Audiences in Inter Farm SSP (Sharepoint 2007 / MOSS)

Audiences in Inter Farm SSP (Sharepoint 2007 / MOSS)

We were doing some brain storming on Sharing the SSP (Shared Service Provider) between multiple farms i.e. the Parent Farm will be the provider/source of the SSP and the Child farm will consume the SSP. (Needless to say this is MOSS or sharepoint 2007).

It is very easy to set up the sharing of the SSP between farms basically going to the Central Administration àApplication ManagementàUnder office Shared Service provider (Grant or configure shared services between farms ) and here you can configure whether the current farm on which CA is hosted for that farm will be a consumer or provider of the SSP.


Ok so now we wanted to keep the Audiences in one place i.e. in the Parent farm and share these Audiences between the Parent and the Child farm. The question came in what would happen if the Parent farm is down for maintenance i.e. Service Pack upgrades, etc. What would happen to Audience targeting that is done on some of the content pages on the Child farm sites? Will it work or will it not? Will the Audiences resolve or not. So we did a quick small POC and following were our findings on that:


Case 1: All WFE’s and CA box from the Parent farm is down but not the SQL box from the parent farm: Audience still works (as Parent SQL box is still up and running).

Case 2: The entire farm is down (all WFEs, CA box) along with the Parent farm SQL Box: The audiences don’t work as expected.



So bottom line is the Child farm talks directly to the SQL box of the parent farm (i.e. the SSP db of the parent farm) and it is independent of any services on the WFE/CA box of the Parent farm.