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Configure a hosting server

Configure a relational and tile cache data store with one of your federated GIS Server sites and set that site as the hosting server for your ArcGIS Enterprise portal to allow members to do the following:

  • Publish hosted layers.
  • Share layers and maps from ArcGIS for Office.
  • Add a zipped shapefile, CSV file, or GPS Exchange Format file to Map Viewer Classic.
  • Batch geocode addresses from a CSV file or table.
  • Perform feature analysis in Map Viewer Classic, ArcGIS Insights, or ArcGIS Pro.
  • Perform raster analysis from Map Viewer Classic or ArcGIS Pro.

To designate a GIS Server site as a hosting server, the site must be licensed as an ArcGIS GIS Server site at the Standard or Advanced edition. See ArcGIS GIS Server capabilities and extensions for details.

Configure data storage

The hosting server needs to access the data used by the hosted layers published to ArcGIS Enterprise. You need to configure storage locations for this data.

At minimum, you must configure storage for hosted feature layer data. Depending on what other types of layers you and members of your organization will publish to ArcGIS Enterprise, you may need additional storage. The following is a list of hosted layer types and where data is stored for each:

Layer typeStorage type

Hosted feature layers

ArcGIS Data Store relational data store

Hosted scene layers

ArcGIS Data Store tile cache data store

Hosted spatiotemporal feature layers

ArcGIS Data Store spatiotemporal big data store

Hosted tile layers and hosted vector tile layers

Disk space on the hosting server machines to store caches

In addition, if members of your organization will publish ArcGIS Server web services to the hosting server (in essence, using the hosting server as a federated server), you may need to configure additional disk space to hold content for those layers. For example, if your members publish cached map services or publish map image layers but choose to copy the data when they publish, you must ensure there is enough disk space available on the hosting server machines.


In versions 10.5.1 and earlier, enterprise geodatabases were supported for use as the managed database for a hosting server. At ArcGIS Enterprise 10.6, this is no longer supported. You must use an ArcGIS Data Store relational data store. You can still register an enterprise geodatabase with the ArcGIS GIS Server site, but you cannot configure the enterprise geodatabase as a managed database.

ArcGIS Data Store configuration

ArcGIS Data Store is a separate installation available with ArcGIS Enterprise that allows you to create and maintain the following data stores for hosted web layers you publish to ArcGIS Enterprise:

  • Relational data store—Stores your organization's hosted feature layer data, including hosted feature layers created as output from standard feature analysis tools run in the ArcGIS Enterprise Map Viewer Classic or ArcGIS Pro.
  • Tile cache data store—Stores caches for hosted scene layers.
  • Spatiotemporal big data store—Archives real-time observational data from a federated ArcGIS GeoEvent Server site and stores locations recorded through any apps that rely on location sharing, such as ArcGIS Indoors or ArcGIS Field Maps. It also stores the results generated using GeoAnalytics Tools run in Map Viewer Classic or ArcGIS Pro and stores missions and locations for ArcGIS Mission.
  • Graph store—Stores knowledge graphs for the portal's federated ArcGIS Knowledge Server site.
  • Object store—Caches the query responses for layers in hosted feature layers. Caching query responses can improve drawing performance for the layer. The ArcGIS Server administrator of the hosting server can enable caching on individual layers in a hosted feature layer (feature service) using the Update Definition REST operation.

Install ArcGIS Data Store, preferably on a machine that is separate from the hosting server, and create a relational data store. For each additional data store type you require, install ArcGIS Data Store on a separate machine and create that data store. If the machine where you install ArcGIS Data Store contains a large amount of memory and storage and you won't be publishing many of scene layers, you may be able to create the relational and tile cache data stores on the same machine without any adverse effects. However, do not create the spatiotemporal big data store on the same machine as the other data stores or on the same machine as ArcGIS Server; doing so leads to poor performance or even renders the deployment unusable.

See An overview of ArcGIS Data Store configuration and its related topics for instructions.


See Apps and functionality that require ArcGIS Data Store to help determine which additional types of data stores you need.

Specify the hosting server

Once one of your federated GIS Server sites has a relational and tile cache data store, register it as the portal's hosting server.

  1. Sign in to the portal website as an administrator and browse to Organization > Settings > Servers.
  2. To specify a hosting server, choose one of the GIS Server sites you have federated with the portal. If you have added multiple GIS Server sites to your portal, only one can be designated as the hosting server.
  3. Open the Configure server role dialog by doing one of the following:
    1. Next to Server role, click the current server role or Configure server role if no role is currently assigned.
    2. Click the More options button More options icon and select Configure server role.
  4. Use the toggle button to enable the Hosting Server for selected the server role.
  5. Click Save.

    Once configured, the federated server will include Hosting Server in its server role description.

You can now publish hosted web layers.

Items for each of the services appear on the My Content tab of the content page in the portal website.

The services that power these items appear in a folder named Hosted, which you will see when you log in to your GIS Server site from ArcGIS Server Manager.

If you have not already done so, configure utility services for your portal.