Configure a content delivery server

Last updated Friday, February 24, 2017 in Sitecore Experience Platform for Administrator, Developer

Content delivery servers make your web content available to your website visitors. You can configure one or more content delivery servers for improved scalability and better performance. If you expect to have high numbers of visitors or want to configure servers in different geographic locations, you can arrange content delivery servers into clusters.

Recommendations

Before you configure a content delivery server, consider the following recommendations:

  • Live Session Agent module – download and install the Live Session Agent module from the Sitecore Developer Portal to more accurately trigger and process engagement automation states (EAS states) by timeout closer to the timeout delay set on the automation state.
  • xDB analytics tracking – enable this feature. Tracking is required on a content delivery server to track contacts, goals, outcomes, and campaigns, and perform personalization. You can enable tracking in both xDB and xManagement mode.
  • xAnalytics assembly files – if you have implemented custom code that uses ASP.NET Web API attribute routing, to avoid errors, disable the following .dll files in the Website\bin folder:
    • Sitecore.ExperienceAnalytics.dll
    • Sitecore.ExperienceAnalytics.Client.dll
    • Sitecore.ExperienceAnalytics.ReAggregation.dll
  • Session state – use session state to share contact sessions across all browsers and devices. This is important if you are configuring clusters of content delivery or processing servers. For each server cluster, configure private and shared session state and a session state database to ensure that contacts stay connected to the same server until the session ends.
  • xDB Cloud configuration – if you are running xDB Cloud edition, then configure your content delivery environment according to this topic and the instructions for configuring xDB Cloud.

Important

Synchronize all servers to a single reliable time source, for example, by means of the Network Time Protocol (NTP). The aggregation of engagement automation states depends on the system time and changing this can lead to incorrect aggregation results or loss of data.

Configure a content delivery server

To configure a content delivery server:

  1. Ensure that you have read the hardware guidelines for:
  2. Install a Sitecore instance using the Installing the Sitecore Experience Platform guide on the Sitecore Developer Portal website.
  3. Remove or restrict access to the client. You do not need the Sitecore client on a content delivery server.
  4. Configure database connection strings. This topic contains a list of all database connection strings required for each server type.
  5. Download the Config Enable Disable Excel spreadsheet that contains a list of all the configuration files that you need to enable or disable for each server type.

    Important

    If you are using Windows File Explorer, you must ensure that file extensions are displayed. To display file extensions, in the File Explorer Options window, on the View tab, ensure that the Hide extensions for known file types check box is clear.

  6. Enable or disable the relevant files for a content delivery server.

    Note

    You must completely disable List Manager and Path Analyzer on a content delivery server.

  7. Make changes to the configuration file settings. Edit the configuration files listed in the table below.
  8. Configure a search and indexing provider. This topic contains a list of links and other information you need to configure Lucene or Solr as your search and indexing provider.

Note

Configuration files using the Master database are not required on a content delivery server. If you enable the SwitchMasterToWeb.config configuration patch file, you can automatically remove references to the master database.

Changes to configuration file settings

In the following configuration files, find the appropriate section and update each of the parameter values.

If you enable the SwitchMasterToWeb.config configuration patch file, you can automatically remove references to the master database.

Note

In Sitecore, you can create your own names for databases and indexes. This table uses the default Sitecore names for all databases and indexes, such as master, web, and sitecore_marketing_asset_index_web.

Configuration file

Section

Parameter

Value

ScalabilitySettings.config

configuration/sitecore/settings/setting name="InstanceName"

patch:attribute name

sc8CD1

If you have multiple content delivery servers, give each server a unique name, such as:

- sc8CD2

- sc8CD3

Sitecore.Analytics.config

configuration/sitecore/scheduling/<agent type="Sitecore.Analytics.Tasks.EmailReportsTask

Comment out this section.

    <agent type="Sitecore.Analytics.Tasks.EmailReportsTask, Sitecore.Analytics" method="Run" interval="1:00:00">
        <DatabaseName>master</DatabaseName>
     </age

Sitecore.Analytics.Tracking.config

<setting name="Analytics.DefaultDefinitionDatabase" value="master" />

Analytics.DefaultDefinitionDatabase

web

<setting name="Analytics.ClusterName" value="default-cd-cluster" />

If you are creating a cluster of content delivery servers, use your domain name when naming the content delivery cluster.

For example: value="cluster1.domain.com"

Repeat this for each node in the cluster. For a single content delivery server, use the domain name of the server instead.

Analytics.ClusterName

default-cd-cluster

<setting name="Analytics.HostName" value="" />

The global domain name of the Sitecore website.

The cluster and domain name should be identical for all content delivery servers that are in the same cluster.

For example:

<setting name="Analytics.ClusterName" value="cluster1.domain.com" />
<setting name="Analytics.HostName" value="www.domain.com" />

Analytics.HostName

There is no default value.

Sitecore.Buckets.config

configuration/sitecore/databases/database

Comment out the entire master database section.

Comment out:

  <database id="master" singleInstance="true" type="Sitecore.Data.Database, Sitecore.Kernel">
        <Engines.DataEngine.Commands.AddFromTemplatePrototype>
          <obj type="Sitecore.Buckets.Commands.AddFromTemplateCommand, Sitecore.Buckets" />
        </Engines.DataEngine.Commands.AddFromTemplatePrototype>
      </database> 

Sitecore.ContentSearch.config

configuration/sitecore/scheduling/agent

Comment out:

<agent type="Sitecore.ContentSearch.Tasks.Optimize" method="Run" interval="01:00:00">
        <indexes hint="list">
          <index>sitecore_master_index</index>
        </indexes>
      </agent>

Sitecore.ContentSearch.DefaultConfigurations.config

Comment out references to the master database.

configuration/sitecore/contentSearch/indexConfigurations/indexUpdateStrategies/intervalAsyncMaster

Comment out:

<intervalAsyncMaster type="Sitecore.ContentSearch.Maintenance.Strategies.IntervalAsynchronousStrategy, Sitecore.ContentSearch">
            <param desc="database">master</param>
            <param desc="interval">00:00:05</param>
            <CheckForThreshold>true</CheckForThreshold>
          </intervalAsyncMaster>

Comment out references to the master database.

configuration/sitecore/contentSearch/indexConfigurations/indexUpdateStrategies/syncMaster

Comment out:

<syncMaster type="Sitecore.ContentSearch.Maintenance.Strategies.SynchronousStrategy, Sitecore.ContentSearch">
            <param desc="database">master</param>
          </syncMaster>

Sitecore.Social.config

configuration/sitecore/settings/setting

name="Social.Messages.SearchIndex.Master"

social_messages_web

Sitecore.config

configuration/sitecore/sites/<site name="shell"

content

web

configuration/sitecore/sites/<site name="modules_shell"

content

web

configuration/sitecore/IDTable/

Change the database name from master to web.

<param connectionStringName="master"/<param

web

configuration/sitecore/databases/database id="master"

Comment out the entire id="master" database node

<database id="master"

….

</database>

configuration/sitecore/search/configuration/indexes/index/locations/master

Comment out:

<master type="Sitecore.Search.Crawlers.DatabaseCrawler, Sitecore.Kernel">
                <Database>master</Database>
                <Tags>master content</Tags>
              </master>

configuration/sitecore/scheduling/<agent type="Sitecore.Tasks.PublishAgent">

Comment out:

   <agent type="Sitecore.Tasks.PublishAgent" method="Run" interval="00:00:00">
        <param desc="source database">master</param>
        <param desc="target database">web</param>
        <param desc="mode (full or smart or incremental)">incremental</param>
        <param desc="languages">en, da</param>
      </agent>