How to move existing ArcGIS Enterprise instance to cloud?

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05-30-2022 10:52 AM
JonSwoveland
Occasional Contributor

Hi all, here is the challenge:
A local government client has an existing instance of ArcGIS Enterprise  (Server / Portal / Datastore)  (AGSE) hosting their publicly available web GIS resources.  They host the entire stack (including SQL Server for Enterprise Geodatabases)  on their own infrastructure, but are looking to move it to the cloud (likely AWS).

The part that has me scratching my head is how to do this without incurring significant downtime.

In a perfect world, I could use WebGISDR to backup their existing AGSE instance, and restore to a new cloud instance that is available via an alternate hostname, so the new instance can be tested prior to being used for production.  Once the new system is vetted, it could assume the existing system's hostname and the transition would be seamless.  

To clarify, let's say this city's current AGSE is available via https://gis.city.gov.us.

When setting up the cloud AGSE instance, we'd want it available at https://gistest.city.gov.us 

Once the new instance is ready, we switch it over to use https://gis.city.gov.us

My understanding of using WebGISDR is that the restore environment needs to exactly mimic the backup environment, including the hostname, so this approach won't work.  

Migrating the enterprise geodatabases presents another set of challenges, and I understand that will likely require republishing all map services. Hopefully this would only need to be done once though, and not again after the new instance assumes the production hostname.  

Anybody have any thoughts on how to achieve this?

Oh, and another thing they want to do is host ArcGIS License server on one of their cloud servers.

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Scott_Tansley
MVP Regular Contributor

Changing the name of the portal URL is not supported so only the existing URL will work.  I’ve recently worked with a client that used Zerto to copy an existing AGE to another data centre.  It was brought up in a ring fenced (isolated) vLAN with appropriate DNS/AD entries inside that vLAN.  It worked.  The thinking was that we could flip/flop between data centres by using VLANs and DNS.  The success of standing up in a second centre gave them confidence and they didn’t test further.  

In Azure, I believe you can use migration tools like ASR to migrate.  Obviously there is an outage needed to transfer DNS etc.  is there something similar in AWS?

Scott Tansley
https://www.linkedin.com/in/scotttansley/

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3 Replies
Scott_Tansley
MVP Regular Contributor

Changing the name of the portal URL is not supported so only the existing URL will work.  I’ve recently worked with a client that used Zerto to copy an existing AGE to another data centre.  It was brought up in a ring fenced (isolated) vLAN with appropriate DNS/AD entries inside that vLAN.  It worked.  The thinking was that we could flip/flop between data centres by using VLANs and DNS.  The success of standing up in a second centre gave them confidence and they didn’t test further.  

In Azure, I believe you can use migration tools like ASR to migrate.  Obviously there is an outage needed to transfer DNS etc.  is there something similar in AWS?

Scott Tansley
https://www.linkedin.com/in/scotttansley/
JonSwoveland
Occasional Contributor

 It was brought up in a ring fenced (isolated) vLAN with appropriate DNS/AD entries inside that vLAN.

Thanks for posting! I was wondering if there was some way to isolate the DNS entries like that , but didn't know the correct terminology.  Thanks for pointing me in (hopefully) the right direction.  

I really do wish Esri would make it possible to change a Portal's URL.  To me this seems like a design flaw was made early on in Portal's development and has never been resolved (e.g. Items in Portal's db are stored with their fully resolved urls).  

Scott_Tansley
MVP Regular Contributor

It’s bitten me a few times when clients change the name, I.e. restructuring/renaming government departments.

at it’s lowest level, if you look at a Portal Item on disk (JSON/XML) then it’s has the URL written there in full.  I’ve seen people write scripts to update the content, but there is no transparency on every system location that would also need updating.  It’s a risky activity and not one I would recommend.  The tools introduced at 10.8.X for migrating between environments are useful if you want to change names and I’ve seen people use FME to migrate content.  But given you want a straight lift/ship, it probably makes sense to look at cloud migration pathways rather than trying to ‘force esri’.  

Scott Tansley
https://www.linkedin.com/in/scotttansley/