Multiple Roles on GIS Servers

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03-14-2021 05:26 AM
LanceCole
MVP Regular Contributor

We are testing a new ArcGIS Server 10.9 deployment and were planning on two server sites.  Two (2) servers with the role of ArcGIS GIS Server on the first site and one (1) server with the role of ArcGIS Image Server on the second site.  The only reason we are adding an Image Server is to be able to publish mosaic datasets.  There are no plans to utilize other functionality of the Image Server for our deployment.

The question came up of instead of creating the two sites noted above, license two or three servers for both ArcGIS GIS Server and Image Server roles on a single site.  Note, we have the licenses available as well as additional memory and cores for each system, if needed.  I have seen a few posts where others have worked through a couple of licensing issues to complete this process,  but not sure of the outcome.  ESRI states it is recommended to place each role on a separate system and if we were fully utilizing Image Server I would not even be thinking about this option.  In our past deployment, we only utilized ArcGIS GIS Server and hosted Image features using SID files and Tile Cache without any issues.

Has anyone deployed a similar configuration and was it successful?  Issues or regrets?

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JoshuaBixby
MVP Esteemed Contributor

From a technical perspective, deploying multiple roles on a single machine is simple, we do it on our development servers regularly.

I think the general recommendation, although I can't remember where it is written or who all recommends it, comes less from ArcGIS Server roles needing to be on their own machines/sites and more from segmenting various use patterns to different machines/sites.  Even within a single ArcGIS Server role, there are times it makes sense to have separate sites.  For example, deploying heavily-utilized geoprocessing services on a machine hosting map or feature services can lead to the gp services impacting the performance of other non-gp services.

For the situation you describe, I don't see a compelling reason to stand up a separate site.  Since deploying ArcGIS Image Server on both the ArcGIS GIS Server machines will involve licensing more cores than you were originally planning, there could be an increased cost from an Esri licensing perspective.  That said, deploying 3 Windows servers instead of 2 Windows servers comes with additional operating system licensing costs, not to mention the additional hosting cost of having a 3rd machine.  What is the net change in cost?  Likely not worth driving a deployment decision.

 

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JoshuaBixby
MVP Esteemed Contributor

From a technical perspective, deploying multiple roles on a single machine is simple, we do it on our development servers regularly.

I think the general recommendation, although I can't remember where it is written or who all recommends it, comes less from ArcGIS Server roles needing to be on their own machines/sites and more from segmenting various use patterns to different machines/sites.  Even within a single ArcGIS Server role, there are times it makes sense to have separate sites.  For example, deploying heavily-utilized geoprocessing services on a machine hosting map or feature services can lead to the gp services impacting the performance of other non-gp services.

For the situation you describe, I don't see a compelling reason to stand up a separate site.  Since deploying ArcGIS Image Server on both the ArcGIS GIS Server machines will involve licensing more cores than you were originally planning, there could be an increased cost from an Esri licensing perspective.  That said, deploying 3 Windows servers instead of 2 Windows servers comes with additional operating system licensing costs, not to mention the additional hosting cost of having a 3rd machine.  What is the net change in cost?  Likely not worth driving a deployment decision.

 

LanceCole
MVP Regular Contributor

Joshua, 

You are on it as usual and thanks for the reply.  Our production environment will be running on redundant ESXi hosts that are nowhere near capacity.  Two or three GIS Servers are easily manageable.  There is no additional cost for the OS or hardware as we are in a VM environment.  Last, we have an ELA with ESRI so covered for GIS licensing.  

The Image server(s) will mainly be serving temporal basemap imagery that is far too large to upload to AGOL.  Our other feature services are hosted both on our GIS servers and AGOL.  We try to pull the data from AGOL first but for testing and some internal work we host it locally only.  

I am running a test deployment on a Hyper-V server with 1) three ArcGIS Servers in a single site configured with roles of both ArcGIS GIS Server and Image Server and 2) two ArcGIS GIS Servers on one site with another ArcGIS Image Server on a second site.  I am not really seeing a difference between the two test deployments.  However, this is not a production environment and hence my original question.

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CraigRussell
Esri Contributor

When it comes to Image Server, one of the primary considerations in terms of workload separation is whether or not you're using it for raster analysis.  If you are, then a standalone site is recommended.

Given that you @LanceCole have mentioned that you will only be using it for publishing mosaic datasets and won't be leveraging all the Image Server has to offer, you shouldn't have any issues combining it with the GIS Server role.

AmyBrassieur
New Contributor III

We have a very small deployment, one ArcGIS Server and site on VM, and I am running Image Server as an extension on ArcGIS Server, 10.6.1. Esri tech support helped me work through that process. My actual imagery is on a physical server (soon to be virtual, I hope) that is also running Portal.  All I use Image Server for is to create mosaic datasets.