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Joining an existing site

A site is a deployment of ArcGIS for Server. If you've installed ArcGIS for Server for the purpose of connecting it to an existing site, you have the opportunity to specify that site the first time you open Manager.


If your existing site has been configured to use HTTPS, you must add the new GIS server to the site as described in Adding a GIS server to a site in Manager.

Before you add a GIS server to a site, you should ensure that it meets the following criteria:

  • It must be running on the same operating system platform as the other GIS server machines in the site. It is recommended that you use the same operating system version and hardware resources for all GIS servers in your site. For example, if you have a site comprised of GIS servers, each running on Windows Server 2008 R2 with a 3 GHz processor and 8 GB of RAM, the GIS server you add to the site should also have the same operating system and hardware specifications.
  • It must be at the same version number as the other GIS server machines in the site.
  • It must have the same license applied to it as the other GIS server machines in the site.
  • It must be able to read and write to the site's configuration store and server directories. See About the configuration store and About server directories to learn about this requirement.
  • It must be running ArcGIS Server under the same ArcGIS Server account as all the other GIS servers in the site. This can be a domain account, or it can be a local account with a name and password that are identical on all GIS servers. See The ArcGIS Server account to learn more about this account.
  • It must be able to communicate with all the other GIS servers in the site through the ports listed in Ports used by ArcGIS Server. This may require adjustment of firewall settings.
  • It must be able to read any data referenced by services on the site. A good way to verify this is to check whether the machine has permissions to all the data storage locations registered with the site. See About registering your data with ArcGIS Server to learn more about these registered locations.

To join a machine to a site, follow the steps below.

  1. Open Manager. The URL to open Manager in a browser is, or you can use the installed shortcut.

    If you're prompted for a user name and password, someone already joined this machine to an existing site.

  2. Click Join An Existing Site.
  3. Type the URL to the site you want to join. The URL usually follows the format
  4. Type the administrator name and password of the site you want to join. This can be the same user name and password that you used when you created the site, or it can be another ArcGIS for Server user account to whom the server administrator has granted administrative privileges.

    Click Next.

  5. Choose the cluster that you want this machine to join.

    This option only appears if more than one cluster is detected. Clusters are a way of grouping subsets of GIS server machines so that they can be dedicated to running particular sets of services.

    Click Next.

  6. Examine the configuration summary and click Finish when you are ready to join the machine to the site.

Your machine is now added to the site.


When you create or join a machine to a site, logs at the Verbose level are written to <ArcGIS Server installation directory>\usr\logs\<machine name>\server. If the site creation or join fails, you can open the logs with a text editor to get more information about the problem.

Once the site creation or join is complete, the logs are moved to <ArcGIS Server installation drive>\arcgisserver\logs and the log level is set to Warning. If the ArcGIS Server account does not have permission to create or write to this folder, the site creation or join will fail. If you don't want to give the ArcGIS Server account permissions to create folders on your entire drive, you can manually create this folder in advance and grant the ArcGIS Server account permissions to write to it.