Should I configure ArcGIS Server with a Web Adaptor?

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10-07-2016 06:27 AM
ThomasMathew1
New Contributor III

This is how I plan to use ArcGIS Server.

  • It will be federated with a portal.
  • It will be used only to run GIS services that will be accessed by Operations Dashboard.
  • It is currently planned to have Portal and the 'web adaptor for portal' on one machine and ArcGIS Server on another machine

In this scenario is there any benefits are negatives by not configuring ArcGIS Server with a web adaptor.

My research led me to this link which lists all the benefits of having a web adapter with ArcGIS Server.

Link: About the ArcGIS Web Adaptor
http://server.arcgis.com/en/server/latest/install/windows/about-the-arcgis-web-adaptor.htm

None of the benefits listed in the above link seem to apply to my case.

Infact I can see a negative. If I configure the web adaptor on the portal machine with ArcGIS Server on the second machine, every request for a service will go to the web adpator machine and then to arcgis server instead of going directly to ArcGIS Server.

However, the link for federating ArcGIS Server with Portal "indicates" that ArcGIS Server must be linked with a web adaptor before federating. See the link and excerpt below showing this.

Link: Federate an ArcGIS Server site with your portal
http://server.arcgis.com/en/portal/latest/administer/windows/federate-an-arcgis-server-site-with-you...

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Excerpt: 

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Therefore, as per my scenario, does anyone think I should configure ArcGIS Server with a web adaptor. Can I use the url http://server:6080/arcgis as Services URL to federate without any problems.

Kindly share your thoughts.

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2 Replies
JonathanQuinn
Esri Frequent Contributor

I don't think many people will be setting up a Web GIS, (portal federated with server, etc), without using some front end to Server that hides 6443 and 6080.  Whether this is a web adaptor, reverse proxy or load balancer, there's typically a "cleaner" front end through the standard ports 80 and 443 which leads to a better experience in working with services from the federated Server.  It gives you the option of hiding back-end servers that you may not want your users to know about.  Certificates aren't really relevant, since you can simply use a CA or domain signed certificate on 6443 if you didn't use the web adaptor.  In terms of performance, you shouldn't see any difference in going directly to the ArcGIS Server than going through the web adaptor.  If you weren't federating, there may be a stronger argument for using the web adaptor, as you get more options for security, but as you are federating, Portal will be handling the security aspects.  Regardless of that, though, I'd recommend using the web adaptor.  Set up your signed certificate on 443 in IIS and use that URL as the services URL.

ThomasMathew1
New Contributor III

Thanks! Insightful, especially since I was looking to know if there would be a performance gain by not using web adaptor.

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