Is it possible to have multiple MySite hosts in one SharePoint Farm, and thus giving people a different layout depending on the Mysite host they are "member" of??
Sadly it is not really possible. One of our customers asked if it is possible to have a different Mysite masterpage for people that are member of a certain department. And not onty their own masterpage but also the Root site masterpage.
We looked into this and tried setting up a second mysitehost. Sadly this was the start of the difficulties.
When creating a new mysite host a second User Profile Service is needed. This UPS will crawl accounts in the requested OU (if the accounts are in a seperate OU) or new exclusion rules can be applied. So we solved the first issue on how to seperate the different users, but only on paper.
A new UPS requires a new server. It is simply impossible to have multiple UPS running on the same server. The forefront identity management service cannot be connected to multiple User Profile Service applications.
So we added the extra server, setup a second UPS, started it, worked like a charm. Then we went on to setup a second mysite host. A new webapp was created, a new mysite host site collection was placed in it and voila.. We had a second Mysite Host.
But still not solved the problem, since users were not correctly redirected to the correct mysite. So how to point the users to the correct Mysite host??
Using the webapps service connections we had to choose which UPS is to be used for which web application. And as you can tell already, it now depends on which site your on, to which mysite you are redirected.
Example: We had the NL site setup to use the primary NL mysites, and the UK site setup to use the UK Mysites. When user A was logged in onto the NL site and clicked "My Site" in the menu he was redirected to his NL mysite. As requested. BUT.. (big but) when User A was logged in onto the UK site and clicked "MySite" he was redirected to the UK mysite, and not the NL mysite he already has. So now he had two mysites!!
Finally we came across some information on the internet: Trusted Mysite Host Locations. We did not look into that before. Here you can point users to different mysites by creating audiences. So simple.. probably the reason we overlooked it.
So to answer the question we asked before: Is it possible to have multiple Mysite Hosts??
Yes it is, keep in mind that multiple UPS applications are needed. And Trusted Mysite Host locations with audiences are needed to point the users to their correct Mysite.