Find out what frond end server you are using in SharePoint

A customer had an infrastructure that was administred by another company, so we couldn’t access it. From time to time, one of the frond end servers got buggy. The question was, which one ?

I posted the question on twitter to find out how other people do this. Turns out, a lot of people use really cool solutions:

– custom headers configured in IIS, and then use Fiddler to get info out

– wrap “System.Environment.MachineName” in the masterpage

– turn off the front end server one by one and see if the user can still see the site

– develop a webpart that shows the information

– use the codeplex solution SPServerName


Wait, there is a free solution that doesn’t require me to pop-up code or configuration ? Awesomesauce!

Indeed, the free codeplex solution SPServerName (created by dcSharePointChick Shirin Parsee ) is incredible. Just pop the WSP on the farm, enable the web application feature on the web apps that you want to use it on and you are ready to go!

So, what does it do ? It shows the server name you are using in a green ribbon on top of each page in the web application.

It works in 2 ways:

  1. if you are logged in as a farm administrator you will see the ribbon
  2. if you are not an administrator, you can add the parameter “showserver=1” to see the ribbon
the green ribbon tells you the name of the front end server you are using

Why I love this free solution ?

Well, it is simple. And it is free.

You don’t need to know code, you don’t need to fiddle around in IIS.

If an end-user has problems, you don’t need to use Fiddler, or let the user view the code on the page.

Just let the user add the parameter in the url, and there it is.

Ofcourse, if you are building a custom masterpage, why not adding the reference. A good idea would be to develop a footer, where you can add the users IP adres, the number of the helpdesk and other useful information.

Thanks to







About: Marijn

Marijn Somers (MVP) has over 14 years experience in the SharePoint world, starting out with SP2007. Over the years the focus has grown to Office 365, with a focus on collaboration and document management. He is a business consultant at Balestra and Principal Content Provider for "Mijn 365 Coach" that offers dutch employee video training. His main work tracks are around user adoption, training and coaching and governance. He is also not afraid to dig deeper in the technicalities with PowerShell, adaptive cards or custom formatting in lists and libraries. You can listen to him on the biweekly "Office 365 Distilled" podcast.

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