The term "farm" refers to a series of identically configured, standalone server instances. The fact that they are standalone allows for the farm to be increased or decreased in size without having to worry about complex cluster configurations or inter-server awareness. Server farms offer a very simple way to build and maintain a highly scalable, highly available server environment. Creating the farm requires an established content subscriber, two or more installed instances of
® Portal, and a configured Web server for load balancing; this documentation only covers the HTTP server plug-in but you can use any supported Web server.
Choosing the type of portal farm to create
There are two supported portal farm configurations that you can choose when setting up your portal farm. You can set up a unique installation where each farm has a unique installation or you can set up one instance that is shared between multiple farm instances.
Setting up the HTTP server plug-in on a portal farm
You can use a Web server to handle load balancing across your portal farm. This documentation is specific to the HTTP server but you can use any supported Web server.
Configuring search in a portal farm
Portal provides two distinct search capabilities. You can use both types of search capabilities in a portal farm environment.
Setting up a highly available message bus
If you configured your portal farm to use a single content subscriber, you might want to create a highly available message bus to ensure that content is always updated on the server instances, even if one subscriber server becomes unavailable. To create a highly available message bus, you must create a cluster of subscriber servers and then add them to the bus. If the bus is set up on the initial server from which the cluster is based, where you ran the create-wcm-jms-resource
task, then the resulting cluster will become a member of the bus, as will all cluster members.
Administering a portal farm
Because a farm is a series of independent server instances and not a cluster, specific procedures need to be followed to deploy updates to the farm that are different than when administering a cluster. Updates include any changes to the system, such as, but not limited to, using or deploying portlets, adding or changing portal pages, changing file system resources, and changing IBM WebSphere
Application Server configurations. The procedures differ depending on the type of farm: unique installations or shared installations.
Maintaining a portal farm
Maintenance can be considered any change to the system, such as the deployment of application updates, platform configuration changes, or the application of corrective service. The mechanism used to apply maintenance to a farm depends on the type of farm deployed: unique installations or shared configuration.