Friday, 9 August 2019

SIF Distributed Installation notes/fixes

I recently went through a SIF distributed installation for 9.1.1 and noticed quite a few things which were either broken, not included, or undocumented, so I thought I'd share my notes in case someone runs in to the same situation (which I'm sure will happen sooner or later).

The broken

Let's start with things that actually make SIF/Sitecore just plain not run successfully:
  • The distributed templates have not been updated for 9.1.1, so even when downloading the Sitecore Remote Distributed Deployment SIF Templates file from the 9.1.1 downloads page you will need to update the package names in the XP1-Distributed.ps1 file from 9.1.0 to 9.1.1, and Identity from 2.0.0 to 2.0.1
  • In XP1-Distributed.ps1 "SolrRoot" is defined but not passed through to the json file
  • In xconnect-xp1-MarketingAutomation.json "XConnectCollectionSearchService" should be "XConnectCollectionService" (in a couple of places), which is the parameter which is actually correctly passed through from the parent json
  • Unlike in the local SIF install, passwords and keys are not automatically generated if they are not provided.  Your DB passwords and API keys will all be set to use "SIF-Default" which is the default value for all the parameters in the json.  I'm putting this under "broken" since Sitecore logs multiple errors with a reporting API key of this value.
  • Even though the distributed install is set to install xConnect collection and xConnect collection search on different servers, it has not configured the necessary connection strings for separate servers per Setting up dedicated search and collection connection strings in the documentation. If you're getting the following error from Experience Profile this is what's been missed
    ERROR [Sitecore Services]: HTTP POST
    URL https://sitecorecms/sitecore/api/ao/v1/contacts/search?&pageSize=20&pageNumber=1&sort=visitCount desc&Match=*&FromDate=03%2F03%2F2019&ToDate=02%2F04%2F2019
    
    Exception System.NullReferenceException: Object reference not set to an instance of an object.
       at Sitecore.Cintel.Endpoint.Plumbing.NegotiateLanguageFilter.OnActionExecuted(HttpActionExecutedContext actionExecutedContext)
       at System.Web.Http.Filters.ActionFilterAttribute.OnActionExecutedAsync(HttpActionExecutedContext actionExecutedContext, CancellationToken cancellationToken)
    --- End of stack trace from previous location where exception was thrown ---
    ... etc...

The missing

  •  While the packages for the DDS instance and CM DDS patch packages and json files are included, they are not incorporated into the XP1-Distributed.ps1 or XM1-Distributed.ps1
    • In the .ps1 define the following:
      $DdsComputerName = ""
      $DdsSiteName = "$prefix.dds"
      $DdsPackage = (Get-ChildItem "$SCInstallRoot\Sitecore 9.1.1 rev. * (OnPrem)_dds.scwdp.zip").FullName
      $PatchPackage = (Get-ChildItem "$SCInstallRoot\Sitecore.Patch.EXM (OnPrem)_CM.zip").FullName
      
      $ReportingServiceApiKey = ""
      $EXMCryptographicKey = ""
      $EXMAuthenticationKey = ""
      $EXMInternalApiKey = ""
      
      and in the DistributedDeploymentParams add:
      DdsComputerName = $DdsComputerName
      DdsUserName = $HostsUserName
      DdsPassword = $HostsUserPassword
      DdsPackage = $DdsPackage
      DdsSitename = $DdsSitename
      PatchPackage = $PatchPackage
      
      ReportingServiceApiKey = $ReportingServiceApiKey
      EXMCryptographicKey = $EXMCryptographicKey
      EXMAuthenticationKey = $EXMAuthenticationKey
      EXMInternalApiKey = $EXMInternalApiKey
    • Add the DDS and patch sections to the json (gist of full json). The main additions are:
      "DdsConfig": ".\\sitecore-xp1-dds.json",
      "DdsResourceFiles": [ "[variable('DdsConfig')]" , "[parameter('DdsPackage')]", "[parameter('LicenseFile')]", "[variable('CertGenerationConfig')]" ],
      "Dds:ResourceFiles": "[concat(variable('RepResourceFiles'), variable('XConnectCertImportResourceFiles'))]",
      "Dds:RemoteResourceFolder": "[variable('RemoteResourceFolder')]",
      "Dds:ImportCertificatesParameters": "[variable('XConnectCertImportConfigurationParameters')]",
      "Dds:GenerateCertificatesParameters": {
        "Path": "[JoinPath(variable('RemoteResourceFolder'), SplitPath(Path:variable('CertGenerationConfig'),Leaf:true))]",
        "CertificateName": "[parameter('DdsComputerName')]"
      },
      "Dds:ConfigurationParameters": {
        "Path": "[JoinPath(variable('RemoteResourceFolder'), SplitPath(Path:variable('DdsConfig'),Leaf:true))]",
        "Package": "[JoinPath(variable('RemoteResourceFolder'), SplitPath(Path:parameter('DdsPackage'),Leaf:true))]",
        "SiteName": "[parameter('DdsSitename')]",
        "XConnectCert": "[parameter('CertificateName')]",
        "ProcessingService": "[parameter('ProcessingService')]",
        "ReportingService": "[parameter('ReportingService')]",
        "XConnectCollectionSearchService": "[parameter('XConnectCollectionSearchService')]",
        "XConnectReferenceDataService": "[parameter('XConnectReferenceDataService')]",
        "MarketingAutomationOperationsService": "[parameter('MarketingAutomationOperationsService')]",
        "MarketingAutomationReportingService": "[parameter('MarketingAutomationReportingService')]",
        "SitecoreIdentitySecret": "[parameter('ClientSecret')]",
        "SitecoreIdentityAuthority": "[parameter('SitecoreIdentityAuthority')]",
        "SolrUrl": "[parameter('SolrUrl')]",
        "SolrCorePrefix": "[parameter('Prefix')]",
        "SqlDbPrefix": "[parameter('Prefix')]",
        "SqlServer": "[parameter('SqlServer')]",
        "SqlAdminUser": "[parameter('SqlAdminUser')]",
        "SqlAdminPassword": "[parameter('SqlAdminPassword')]",
        "LicenseFile": "[JoinPath(variable('RemoteResourceFolder'), SplitPath(Path:parameter('LicenseFile'),Leaf:true))]",
        "HostMappingName": "",
        "DNSName": "[parameter('DdsComputerName')]",
        "SSLCert": "[parameter('DdsComputerName')]",
        "ExmEdsProvider": "CustomSMTP",
        "ReportingServiceApiKey": "[parameter('ReportingServiceApiKey')]",
        "EXMCryptographicKey": "[parameter('EXMCryptographicKey')]",
        "EXMAuthenticationKey": "[parameter('EXMAuthenticationKey')]",
        "EXMInternalApiKey": "[parameter('EXMInternalApiKey')]"
      },
      "PatchConfig": ".\\sitecore-XP1-cm-dds-patch.json",
      "PatchResourceFiles": [ "[variable('PatchConfig')]" , "[parameter('PatchPackage')]", "[parameter('LicenseFile')]", "[variable('CertGenerationConfig')]" ],
      "Patch:ResourceFiles": "[concat(variable('PatchResourceFiles'), variable('XConnectCertImportResourceFiles'))]",
      "Patch:RemoteResourceFolder": "[variable('RemoteResourceFolder')]",
      "Patch:ImportCertificatesParameters": "[variable('XConnectCertImportConfigurationParameters')]",
      "Patch:GenerateCertificatesParameters": {
        "Path": "[JoinPath(variable('RemoteResourceFolder'), SplitPath(Path:variable('CertGenerationConfig'),Leaf:true))]",
        "CertificateName": "[parameter('CMComputerName')]"
      },
      "Patch:ConfigurationParameters": {
        "Path": "[JoinPath(variable('RemoteResourceFolder'), SplitPath(Path:variable('PatchConfig'),Leaf:true))]",
        "Package": "[JoinPath(variable('RemoteResourceFolder'), SplitPath(Path:parameter('PatchPackage'),Leaf:true))]",
        "SiteName": "[parameter('CMSitename')]",
        "EXMCryptographicKey": "[parameter('EXMCryptographicKey')]",
        "EXMAuthenticationKey": "[parameter('EXMAuthenticationKey')]",
        "EXMInternalApiKey": "[parameter('EXMInternalApiKey')]",
        "DedicatedServerHostName": "[parameter('DdsComputerName')]"
      }
      

The undocumented

  • The WinRM is using UseSSL:true which means a cert needs to be installed and port 5986 opened.  See blog post WinRM over HTTPS for a Sitecore 9.1 SIF Distributed Installation for more details.
  • In our case the default WinRM MaxEnvelopeSizekb was tiny and needed to be increased for the Sitecore file sizes.
    winrm set winrm/config @{MaxEnvelopeSizekb="8192"}

Minor others

  • Despite allowing you to set the install files path in the ps1 the RemoteResourceFolder path C:\ResourceFiles\ is hardcoded everywhere else
  • There are quite a few cases of the wrong description for fields (a case of copy/paste I believe), eg. in xconnect-ip1-MarketingAutomation.json the description for XConnectReferenceDataService should say "Reference Data" but says "Collection Search"

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