If you’ve read anything about SharePoint 2016, you’ve probably heard about MinRole. But what is MinRole? How will it help your business? Bill Baer, Senior Product Marketing Manager for SharePoint at Microsoft, puts it this way:

“MinRole is designed to transform guidance into code, simplifying deployment and scale with SharePoint ensuring a request is served end-to-end by the receiving server based on the origination of the request (I.e. end user or batch processing) and role of the destination server.”

Got it? Good! End of post.
What? You need more info? Ok, here goes.

Put another way, MinRole takes the guesswork out of deciding which services should run on which SharePoint servers. In a sense, Microsoft has now pre-packaged and optimized the services into different roles that you can select when installing SharePoint on a server.

The roles are as follows:
1. Web Front End
2. Application
3. Search
4. Distributed Cache
5. Custom

The first four should be self-explanatory; when you select one of these options, you are designating that particular server as the Web Front End server, or the Search server. As you might expect, you will need, at minimum, a four-server farm in order to designate each server with one of the above roles.

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However, you may only need two or three servers in your farm. In that case, you will want to choose “Custom” as your option, and then select which services will be running on each server. “Custom” also serves the purpose of allowing you to run additional services that fall outside the four other role designations. Your farm does not need to include a custom server, but it may be a nice-to-have in case you need to start other services on your farm that don’t fall into any of the four other roles.

There is one final option when installing SharePoint 2016: Single Server Farm. In this scenario, you only want to set up a single server for SharePoint. Therefore, any services that you start will be running on one server. This option is best saved for small SharePoint deployments and development environments.

In summary, MinRole makes SharePoint 2016 installation a snap, and optimizes your farm for maximum performance. Yet another reason to believe Microsoft’s investment in SharePoint on-premises is real, and is here to stay. Happy SharePointing!

More Information:
MinRole Overview on Technet
What’s new in SharePoint Server 2016 Installation and Deployment