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Expand from one ArcGIS Server machine to multiple machines

This topic gives some special points to consider if you have been running one ArcGIS Server machine in your ArcGIS Server site and you want to add another machine. If you are setting up a new site with multiple ArcGIS Server machines, follow the instructions in Configuring a multiple-machine deployment.

Configure the server directories and configuration store to use shared paths

Before you add a second machine to your site, you need to use your operating system tools to share the folders containing your server directories and configuration store. Ensure that the ArcGIS Server account has permissions to read and write to the shared folder.


Shared network directories that are hidden or use special characters (for example, $) are not supported by ArcGIS Server.


Although it is possible to share your existing locations for the configuration store and server directories, it is strongly recommended that you move these locations to a fault-tolerant file server.

Once you've shared the server directories and configuration store, you need to configure the site to use the new, shared paths. You can do this in ArcGIS Server Manager by following the instructions below. Note that your server will experience a period of downtime while these steps are running.

Edit the server directory and configuration store paths in ArcGIS Server Manager

  1. Start ArcGIS Server Manager and log in. If you need help with this step, see Log in to Manager.
  2. To edit the configuration store path, click Site > GIS Server > Configuration Store. Specify the shared path of the configuration store location. The contents of the configuration store are moved to the new location and all services are restarted.
  3. To edit the server directory paths, click Site > GIS Server > Directories. For each directory, click its Edit button Edit and specify the new shared path for the directory. When you edit a directory path, the contents of the directory are copied to the new location unless you are editing a cache directory. When you change a cache directory location, you must copy the cache to the new location.

Prepare the ArcGIS Server machines

Before you add an ArcGIS Server machine to the site, there are a number of criteria that it must meet. You might need to adjust your existing ArcGIS Server machine to meet these conditions. See About multiple-machine ArcGIS Server sites to learn whether your ArcGIS Server machine is ready to add to the site.

Add or join the machines to the site

You can add or join ArcGIS Server machines to your site. There is a subtle difference between these two actions, even though they have the same result. The act of adding a machine can be performed from a central location (such as one Manager session) to pull one or more machines into a site. The act of joining a site is typically performed immediately after installation on one machine to push it into an existing site.

See the following topics for instructions:

Add an ArcGIS Server machine to a site

Join an existing site