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Cluster setup issue CF2023 Enterprise

New Here ,
Feb 28, 2024 Feb 28, 2024

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Hoping for some input/help. I have an IIS failover cluster freshly installed across two servers. We purchased CF2023 Enterprise and installed it on both servers. I ran the lockdown software per this document on both servers. When trying to add a remote instance per the instructions here (Registering a Remote Instance), the information seems to take but then the remote instance disappears from the list of servers after the form is submitted (and accepted). When attempting to edit/view the remote instance I just added, I get an error (An error occurred while executing the application. Please try again or contact the administrator.) and it is then removed from the list.

In looking at the coldfusion-error.log file, I see a line "SEVERE: Error storing instances.xml" and an access denied error to the instances.xml file (\cfusion\..\config\instances.xml (Access is denied)). I believe the issue is related to the lockdown tool. I was able to add remote instances before running the lockdown tool.

First question, obviously, is how to resolve this particular problem. Second, and maybe more importantly, is wheter my logic is sound with installing CF2023 on each of my IIS servers in the failover cluster.

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Advanced techniques , Server administration

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Community Expert , Feb 29, 2024 Feb 29, 2024

Well, since you're asking I'll share a few thoughts.

 

First, you don't technically NEED to install cf in each server--if by that you mean for the two clustered iis servers to each have their own cf. You COULD have cf on only ONE server, talked to from BOTH iis servers. That would be a rare setup, BUT it's possible, yes. It's a variation of another notion (also not used that often): the connection of a web server machine to a cf instance running on a machine WITHOUT that web server is what's bee

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New Here ,
Feb 28, 2024 Feb 28, 2024

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I was able to figure out part 1 of my issue. I needed to give the local ColdFusion account rights to the /config folder. After doing that, I was able to add the remote instance. Would still like to hear about whether my logic here is sound and whether there are any other tips/documentation available for similar scenarios.

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Community Expert ,
Feb 29, 2024 Feb 29, 2024

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Well, since you're asking I'll share a few thoughts.

 

First, you don't technically NEED to install cf in each server--if by that you mean for the two clustered iis servers to each have their own cf. You COULD have cf on only ONE server, talked to from BOTH iis servers. That would be a rare setup, BUT it's possible, yes. It's a variation of another notion (also not used that often): the connection of a web server machine to a cf instance running on a machine WITHOUT that web server is what's been traditionally called "distributed cf". There's no button or ui to "make that happen". Instead, there are steps in the cf docs.

 

But I don't think this is necessarily the best way to go. As you've already licensed the two cf servers, you can and probably should just stick with CF on each machine. There's benefit to redundancy and flexibility in being to take one down while the other remains running. 

 

What I MIGHT question is whether you should bother with the registering of remote instances as you've done, which presumes you'd be using cf enterprise's clustering feature. As you already have iis clustering, you don't NEED the load balancing aspect of cf clustering.

 

The other major part of cf's clustering feature is session replication--and some using cf clustering choose not to enable that for various reasons. In that case, you'd REALLY not NEED to use the cf clustering feature. 

 

And some folks who use that Cf session replication feature don't even need that, as cf2016 introduced redis session storage, which can be shared between multiple instances. (Note also that Cf redis sessions does not require use of cf Enterprise.)

 

It's true that Cf session replication REQUIRES use of the cf admin j2ee sessions feature, while cf redis sessions instead requires those be DISABLED. And some folks fear that Cf j2ee sessions "aren't as secure" as traditional cf sessions, but that's only true regarding their default configuration. Cf sessions can be made as secure as j2ee sessions.

 

Finally, I realize clustering is only in cf Enterprise (not Standard)--and without it, you may think "did we waste money then on cf Enterprise?"  But there are MANY more features cf Enterprise offers beyond this, and I've done an entire talk on the topic, available (recording and pdf) at carehart.org/presentations.

 

If somehow I didn't address your last comment seeking thoughts on your situation and any tips, let us know what you may still be seeking to confirm/check. 


/Charlie (troubleshooter, carehart.org)

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New Here ,
Feb 29, 2024 Feb 29, 2024

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Thanks so much for laying this out. I wish I had posted to this group before recommending purchasing the Enterprise license. I had tried reaching out to Adobe support/sales before making the purchase and thought I understood things well enough to move forward with purchasing the one license for Enterprise.

 

Through your response, it's obvious that I would need a second license to run the software as I intended. I'm not going to be able to sell the idea to purchase a second license as it's not a small investment for the school I work for. I think a distributed install is the way to go here. I will dig in to the documentation and pivot accordingly.

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Community Expert ,
Feb 29, 2024 Feb 29, 2024

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Let me say first it was not clear that you'd only bought one license for the two servers. Did you see someplace that didn't indicate it was priced per server? It always has been--but I realize this may all be new for you.

 

And since cf enterprise is 4x the cost of cf standard, rather than go for your 1 enterprise, you might consider 2 standards. Adobe might offer an exchange.

 

You might feel you're losing something in that bargain, only getting 2 standards and "losing" 2,but consider also that cf enterprise is priced per 8 cores, while standard is priced per 2. If you might be deploying your 2 iis machines as 4 cores each, that would call for 2 standard licenses on each--equalling the price of your 1 enterprise. 

 

The EULA makes these things clear. Does that perhaps give you a different possible plan? 


/Charlie (troubleshooter, carehart.org)

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New Here ,
Mar 01, 2024 Mar 01, 2024

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Again, thanks for the replies and info. The mistake was definitely on my end and yes, I am new to ColdFusion licensing. I will look to reach out to Adobe support and see if this is feasible. If not, a distributed install is where I'm headed as of right now.

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