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Creating an ArcGIS Server cluster in ArcGIS Desktop

A cluster is a group of ArcGIS Server machines in an ArcGIS Server site that is dedicated to hosting a particular subset of services. You can use ArcCatalog or the Catalog window in ArcGIS Desktop to organize your ArcGIS Server machines into clusters.


Sites with multiple clusters have been deprecated. The use of multi-cluster sites for new deployments is strongly discouraged and existing deployments are advised to migrate away from use of multi-cluster sites as part of ongoing maintenance and upgrades.

To create a new cluster, follow the steps below. You will first disable single cluster mode in order to create multiple clusters.

  1. Open the ArcGIS Server Administrator Directory and log in with an account that has administrative privileges to the site. The Administrator Directory is typically available through a URL such as
  2. Click System > Deployment > Update.
  3. Click the Single Cluster Mode drop-down menu and select FALSE.
  4. Click Update. All ArcGIS Servers in the site are restarted. Wait for them to restart.
  5. In ArcGIS Desktop, establish an Administer GIS server connection to the server. See About connecting to ArcGIS Server in ArcGIS Desktop for instructions on how to connect.
  6. Right-click your administrative connection in the Catalog tree and choose Server Properties.
  7. In the ArcGIS Server Properties window, click the Clusters tab.
  8. Click Add.
  9. In the Add Cluster window, enter a name for the cluster.
  10. From the Available Machines list, select the ArcGIS Server machines you want to add to the cluster and click the >> arrows to move them to the Added Machines list.

    If the ArcGIS Server you want to add does not appear in the list, make sure it has been added to your site and is not currently participating in another cluster. For more information, see About adding an ArcGIS Server machine to a site.

  11. Click OK.

Your cluster is created and appears on the Clusters tab.