We just did a FAST for SharePoint 2010 install & configuration at a client yesterday. The client had multiple servers; one admin and two non-admin servers.
Great documentation is provided on TechNet, and really should be the outline that you use:
Make sure you pay attention to the hardware/software requirements; Windows Firewall needs to be ENABLED in order for the configuration to be successful–most companies generally disable this.
We continually ran into an error yesterday when we ran the configuration wizard for FAST. After looking through the error logs, and searching, we found the following KB:
“Installation of FAST Search Server fails on multi-core system”
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It happened that our client had a 24 core server; we used msconfig to scale it back to 8 core, and re-ran the configuration wizard. Success. I point this out specifically, because it is not in the installation guide mentioned earlier.
The other issue that we ran into yesterday was encountered after we created the FAST Search Center, and tested search. The error was:
Issue: The search request was unable to connect to the Search Service.
A quick validation of the TechNet article (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff393738.aspx) didn’t help. we did all of those steps.
The issue was due to the fact that we already had an existing web application and the default SharePoint Search Service Application (SharePoint Connector; not FAST) associated with it. The TechNet guideline above assumes that you have NOT create a Search Service Application.
In order to associate the FAST Service Application with an existing web application, you need to go into central admin, application management, configure service application associations.
Once within the configure service application associations page, click the “default” link under the Application Proxy Group:
Once the page loads, make sure that the FAST Search Service Application is checked and set as default. Once that is done, your search should work.