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Configure a new ArcGIS Enterprise Deployment with a DNS URL in use

Sometimes it is necessary to setup a new deployment of ArcGIS Enterprise on a new system. During this process however, you don’t want your current system to go down. You also certainly don’t want your end users to have to use a new URL after you switch to the new system. You want to make sure the experience is seamless for them. This article will discuss such a scenario and the necessary steps you must take.

**This document does not include any information regarding the migration of content. Please refer to the following articles for information on migration options:


Yolanda has ArcGIS Server Standalone 10.4, single machine deployment.

She would like to move to ArcGIS Enterprise 10.8, single machine base deployment, federated.

The end users access all content via an outward facing URL and Yolanda does not want this to change in between the two environments. To the end user, the experience must be seamless.

The steps discussed in this documentation will explain how to configure the new system with the same DNS as the old while it is still in use.


All components will be installed one at a time. Files in the folder structure of the software will be edited to ensure that the machine’s fully qualified domain name (FQDN) is set in stone.

The last steps will be the configuration of the ArcGIS Web Adaptors, followed by the federation.

To be able to configure the Web Adaptors with the DNS (most outward facing URL), we will add an entry to the windows host file on the new server machine. This way it will resolve to the new machine instead of the old.

Install/configuration order:

  • ArcGIS Server
  • Portal for ArcGIS
  • ArcGIS Datastore
  • ArcGIS Server Web Adaptor
  • Portal for ArcGIS Web Adaptor
  • Edit windows host file
  • Federate

For this example, we will use the following:


Configuring the new deployment:

1.Install ArcGIS Server

**Stop the ArcGIS Server Service**

2. Create the file as described in the following documentation:

Navigate to the Server Installation directory:

C:\Program Files\ArcGIS\Server\framework\etc

The file can be created in notepad and must be saved in the above location. Its file extension should be “.properties” NOT “.txt”. Edit this manually after the initial save if necessary.

Its content should be one single line:

**Start the ArcGIS Server Service**

3. Create the ArcGIS Server site

NOTE: You can verify that you can access the ArcGIS Server site using:

This URL will always be used if communicating with the ArcGIS Server directly.

4. Install Portal for ArcGIS

**Stop the Portal for ArcGIS Service**

5. Create the file, same as above but in the Portal installation directory:

C:\Program Files\ArcGIS\Portal\framework\etc

File should read:


6. Edit the file which should exist and will be found in this directory:

C:\Program Files\ArcGIS\Portal\framework\runtime\ds\framework\etc

As described in this documentation:

For the file, you will need to un-comment out two lines (this is described in the above doc). The result should look like this:

#Set the host identifier.
#If this property is set, it will be used to identify the current host.
#It can be a host name or IP address. But you need to make sure this name
#or IP is well-known in the network.
#Syntax: hostidentifier=<host-identifier>

#Set the preferred host identifier when hostidentifier is not set.
#You can set it to 'ip' or 'hostname'. default is hostname.
#WARNING: you should NOT set it to "ip if the ip address
#of your machine will ever change.
#Syntax preferredidentifier=ip | hostname


**Start the Portal for ArcGIS Service**

7. Create the Portal for ArcGIS Site

NOTE: You can verify that you can access the Portal for ArcGIS site using:

8. Install ArcGIS Datastore

**Stop the ArcGIS Datastore Service**

9. Edit the file, in the same way we did for the Portal. You will need to un-comment out two lines, the result should look the same as the box above.

This time the file will be found in the ArcGIS Datastore Directory:

C:\Program Files\ArcGIS\DataStore\framework\etc

See the following section for Multiple NIC cards or DNS entries in this documentation for more details:

**Start the ArcGIS Datastore Service**

10. Modify the hosts file in Windows to include an entry for the most outward facing host name.

This is to ensure host name consistency on the new server machine so that when you go to you do not access the old (still live) system.

Now that we have configured the three components of the ArcGIS Enterprise Deployment, the FQDN of the machine will not be mistaken or changed. We must now edit this file to ensure that when configuring the web adaptors, we can use the most outward facing host name ( As this host name is currently being used with the active production system, we will associate the IP address of the new server ( with the outward facing host name (

The file can be found here and must be edited in notepad:

Add an entry at the bottom of the file that reads:

Blog article on migration, see the section about etc\hosts file:

You should not have to restart any of the services, this should take effect very quickly.

*** NOTE: After editing the hosts file, you will no longer be able to access your old production site via this address from this new machine.

11. Configure the two Web Adaptors. One for ArcGIS Server and one for Portal for ArcGIS.
When you open the browser, you will typically get directed to “localhost”. Make sure the initial page for the configuration loads, then in your address bar, type:

You do not want it to list the local machine name or "localhost" when you go through the steps.

*** NOTE: This step 11 is a crucial one. If you run into issues, have questions, or are struggling to get the system to configure the Web Adaptor, call Tech Support.

Once the configurations are complete, test accessing URLs such as:

Look for issues logging in or certificate problems to be sure everything is in order.

12. Federate your Portal and ArcGIS Server, and set the ArcGIS Datastore as the hosting server.
You want to make sure that your federation URL's are the, going through the web adaptor name. For example, the services URL would be https://
Your ADMIN URL however can be the 6443 internal URL (https:// OR the web adaptor URL (https:// /server)


If using the 6443 internal URL as the admin URL, you must have a valid certificate for that URL.

If using the Web Adaptor URL as the admin URL, it must be enabled with administrative access.

13. Make sure everything validates both in Portal>settings>servers and in Server manager>datastores

At this point you should have a working ArcGIS Enterprise deployment.

As a quick test, zip up a simple and small shapefile into a folder. Go to your Portal home page and click on Content, then add an item from your computer and select the zipped folder. Publish the item as a hosted service and make sure that once published it can be added to a web map.

In order to publish things to this new deployment rather than your current live system from other machines, you can edit the hosts file on any local machine that is tasked with this work. This will ensure that when publishing to "" it is going to the new 10.8 enterprise deployment and not the current live production.

14. Once you are ready to move all your users to the new 10.8 ArcGIS Enterprise, you will need to set to resolve to the IP of the new deployment, request that your IT make the switch on their end.

After this, the hosts file that we edited will be redundant. However, we advise you leave it as is.

Your new deployment should now be live and accessible via through the internet.

This post was translated to French and can be viewed here.

About the Author

David Albert-Lebrun is a Bilingual Enterprise Consultant for Esri Canada. He studied environmental science at the University of Guelph, where he discovered his love for GIS and went on to take every course they offered. This then led to an advanced diploma from the Centre of Geographic Sciences (COGS). David has always been fascinated with better visual ways to interpret and explain data; he was thus naturally drawn to GIS. When he's not assisting clients with their enterprise deployments, you will most likely find David following a map, running in the bush and looking for seldom used trails.

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