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Solution: FAST Search Crawls Stop Working Unexpectedly

Problem Description

Crawls in our Fast Search content all of the sudden started “hanging”, and reporting reporting 0 successful crawls, with some errors.

image

We were seeing no errors to speak of in the event logs or in the ULS logs on either SharePoint server, and the FAST Server was reporting no errors.

Expired Self Signed Certificate for Content SSA Communication

Like many people, we followed the setup instructions on TechNet for setting up the FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint 2010 Farm found here:

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff381267

During that setup process, we used the supplied FASTSearchCert.pfx self-signed certificate to secure the Content SSA communication.  That certificate has a one-year expiration date.  Exactly one year after configuration of the servers, crawl ceased to function.

Short-Term Solution

One solution is to merely generate a new Self-Signed certificate via Micrsosoft’s instructions here:

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff381244.aspx#BKMK_ReplaceTheSelfSignedCertificateWithANewSelfsignedCertificate

This will however land you in the same situation a year from now.

Long-Term Solution

Mikael Svenson wrote a blog post showing how to generate a certificate with a 100 year expiration.  (Note: This ONLY WORKS on SERVER 2008 R2, NOT Server 2008!)

From : http://techmikael.blogspot.com/2011/01/will-your-fast-search-server-for.html

Open up C:\FASTSearch\installer\scripts\include\certificatesetup.ps1 and scroll down to line number 246 which reads:

Add-Content -Path $infFile -Value “SuppressDefaults=true”

Append the following lines underneath it:

Add-Content -Path $infFile -Value “ValidityPeriod=Years”
Add-Content -Path $infFile -Value “ValidityPeriodUnits=100″
and save the file.

Then recreate your certificate with
replacedefaultcertificate.ps1 as explained at TechNet. And remember to import it on your SharePoint 2010 server as well.

 

As an alternative, you can generate your own self-signed certificates, or get an SSL cert from a commercial CA as well.

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