active-passive HA - webgisdr failing to import

08-05-2019 05:12 PM
Occasional Contributor II

G'day everyone,

We are attempting to design & confirm a configuration of ArcGIS Enterprise (single machine deployment) that can be used to provide core services (basemaps, geometry service, geocoding etc) in an active-passive configuration. The current design is two single-machine deployments of ArcGIS Enterprise behind a third party network load balancer. 

Installed components:

  • PFA 10.7.0
  • AGS 10.7.0
  • Web adaptor (portal, server)
  • Data Store 10.7.0 (relational)
  • Citrix netscaler load balancer which presents a virtual IP with the active-passive VM's sitting in that pool

Relevant configurations:

  • Datastore is registered to AGS via fully qualified domain name (e.g.
  • ArcGIS Server is federated to Portal via the NLB services url (e.g. and the FQDN admin url (e.g.
  • Portal has IWA web tier authentication.
  • Portal webcontexturl set to

Both virtual machines in the active-passive configuration are identical and from a user/client perspective, the above configuration provides a seemless SSO experience through the NLB to both VM's. Using the webgisdr workflow to migrate changes from active to passive, we encountered an issue on importing the webgisdr site.

Failed to get SHARED_LOCATION property in "webgisdr file". Malformed \uxxxx encoding.

Any ideas? The only discrepancy I can see from the documented workflow here is that we have not altered the hosts file. Our justification for using this workflow is to migrate ad-hoc changes to our core services offering, upgrade underlying operating systems and reduce 'in place' ArcGIS Enterprise upgrades. Perhaps there is an alternative?


6 Replies
Esri Notable Contributor

Can you share the paths you're using for the SHARED_LOCATION property and scrub hostnames if necessary? I'm wondering if this is a forward/backward slash problem.

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Occasional Contributor II

Shared_location has been \\myshare\webgisdr\backup (this fails the export due to escape character handling), \\\\myshare\\webgisdr\\backup (this fails on import with the above error) and //myshare/webgisdr/backup (fails with the above error).

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Esri Notable Contributor

Yes, all single backslashes should be escaped, but I've never seen that type of error before.

What program are you using to edit the file? I don't think there's any other encoding/characters for a backslash, like there is for an apostrophe, (' vs ). What locale are you on?

Occasional Contributor II

Unfortunately we are using notepad to edit the file, but that's a good line of questioning.

Our local is English (Australia).

As an FYI, the portal logs (debug) show no records which highlight that this error is occuring within the actual webgisdr executable logic rather than after the GIS is contacted by the tool via the REST api.

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Esri Notable Contributor

So you were able to export from your original site, what happens if you move that properties file over to your new environment, and just update the URL and credentials? Even if the path is incorrect for the SHARED_LOCATION and BACKUP_LOCATION, leave it be and see if the DR tool can successfully read the path and validate it. It does sound like some sort of encoding problem:

New Contributor II

Hello @JonathanQuinn !

Was there a solution for this Problem? We also have this issue.

Shared Location Property looks like this: SHARED_LOCATION=\\\\MYSHARE\\shared

Export is no Problem, but Import. Servers and File Share are on a Azure VM.

Thank you in Advance!

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