Microsoft Dynamics AX Support

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How to install AX 2012 Enterprise Portal in a multi-server web farm

 

This blog post is written to clarify some steps in the installation guide https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd309729.aspx when you install AX 2012 Enterprise Portal (EP) in a multi-server web farm.
NOTE: It is important to follow the installation guide and use this post as additional complementary info.

Under section “Before you begin”:

Install and configure Windows Server AppFabric

When installing EP in a multi-server web farm, then AppFabric caching I required. Please follow through this complementary blog post on

How to install and configure Windows AppFabric for AX 2012 Enterprise Portal in a multi-server web farm:

https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/axsupport/2016/03/02/how-to-install-and-configure-windows-appfabric-for-ax-2012-enterprise-portal-in-a-multi-server-web-farm/

Host header

When installing EP in a multi-server web farm then you need to use host header. Review the SharePoint documentation about host headers and Web farms before you install Enterprise Portal.

Reference articles:

Install SharePoint 2013 across multiple servers for a three-tier farm: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee805948.aspx
Host-named site collection architecture and deployment (SharePoint 2013): https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc424952.aspx

Prepare SharePoint Farm – Part 3 Prepare NLB for SharePoint Web Front End WFE Servers: http://blogs.technet.com/b/meamcs/archive/2012/05/29/prepare-sharepoint-farm-part-3-prepare-nlb-for-sharepoint-web-front-end-wfe-servers.aspx

Prepare SharePoint Farm – Part 4 Install and Configure SharePoint farm (3 -tier): http://blogs.technet.com/b/meamcs/archive/2012/05/30/prepare-sharepoint-farm-part-4-install-and-configure-sharepoint-farm-3-tier.aspx

 

 

BackConnectionHostNames

You need to add BackConnectionHostNames key in Windows registry on the Central Admin server through which you will be used for deploying EP and to all the SharePoint Web Front-End (WFE) servers that will be hosting EP.

Example:

You are using the host header “EP” and your domain is contoso.com. To set this:

– Open Registry editor (regedit) and create a Multi-String registry key with name BackConnectionHostNames under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Lsa\MSV1_0 with following values

– Exit the Registry Editor, and then restart the server for changes to take effect

– Note: If you use the FQDN (fully qualified domain name) as the load balanced host header then you add only the FQDN in BackConnectionHostNames, e.g. only EP.contoso.com

– repeat the above on all SharePoint Servers hosting EP

– See https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc982052.aspx and https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/896861 for full details.

 

Under section “Before you install Enterprise Portal”:

Web application

If you intend to deploy Enterprise Portal in a load balanced multi server web farm, then you must use SharePoint Central Administration to create a new Web application using the host header before you install Enterprise Portal.

In “Install and configure SharePoint” point 1 it is stated: “If you are using a load balancer, specify a site name in the Load Balanced URL field on the Web application that will host the Enterprise Portal site”.
This means that you should specify the load balanced site name in the Host Header field.

 

Example:

You plan to use http://EP.contoso.com as the load balanced URL to access Enterprise Portal. In this case you need to specify the host header “EP.contoso.com” when creating the web application.

Create a new Web Application as follows:
1. Log on to the server hosting the Central Administration Service as the SharePoint Farm Administrator account.

2. Open the SharePoint 2013 Central Administration site and under System Settings > Manage services on server, ensure that the Claims to Windows Token Service and Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Web application service is started.

3. In Application Management > Manage web applications, create a new web application on port 80 and set the host header name to “EP.contoso.com”.

 

Note:  Set the application pool identity under Configurable to be the same as your Business Connector Proxy User account defined in AX (Administration > Setup > Security > System Service accounts).

4. Once your web application has been created, create any default SharePoint site collection like a “Team site”

5. You create this site collection as a “Validation” step to verify that you are able to browse the site collection without any issues or errors from the Central Admin server, WFE servers and external devices, before proceeding to deploy Enterprise Portal. In order to browse from the CA, and WFE Servers successfully and to assist with EP deployment follow the steps in the “Hosts file” section below.

Hosts file

If you already have configured the load balancer for the farm, then you need to edit the hosts file on each server in the farm before you install Enterprise Portal. When you browse to the load balanced URL it will be resolved to the IP address of the load balancer which will route the request to a Web Frontend Server (WFE). If you try to install EP without editing the hosts file, then the web application URL will be resolved to the load balancer instead of the local machine and the installation will fail.
The hosts file is located under %systemroot%\system32\drivers\etc (default location: c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc)
Add a line with local IP address mapped to host header on each server.

 

Example:

The web farm consists of 3 servers and load balanced URL is EP.contoso.com:
Central Admin server with IP 10.10.50.101
WFE1 with IP 10.10.50.102
WFE2 with IP 10.10.50.103

On Central admin server add this line in hosts file:
10.10.50.101 EP.contoso.com

On WFE1 server add this line in hosts file:
10.10.50.102 EP.contoso.com

On WFE2 server add this line in hosts file:
10.10.50.103 EP.contoso.com

 


 

Post Installation Steps:

After installation completes successfully, if you need to update your Enterprise Portal, please follow through this complementary blog post on How to update AX 2012 Enterprise Portal in a multi-server web farm: https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/axsupport/2015/11/09/how-to-update-ax-2012-enterprise-portal-in-a-multi-server-web-farm

 

–Article Edited By: Anup Shah

–Date: 05/Jan/2016

–Article Edited By: Egil I. Skjold

–Date: 02/Mar/2016