LiveCycle Clustering – Folder Configuration Checklist

When deploying LiveCycle ES to a J2EE application server cluster for load balancing and/or High Availability, there are a few filesystem folders that need to be in place to ensure that the cluster functions properly. The locations of these are configurable during the install-config phase, or afterwards through the LiveCycle Admin Console. Just navigate to Home->Settings->Core System Settings->Configurations.

Global Document Storage Root Folder
This is the most important folder as far as LiveCycle clustering is concerned. There should only be one per cluster. All members of the cluster should have read-write access to this folder. In the case of a horizontal cluster with multiple physical nodes, the Global Storage Folder should be on a network share. The folder should be hosted on a reliable, High-Availability storage device (SAN, NAS) or file server. Networking to this folder should be fast and reliable.

This folder should also be regularly backed up as part of your disaster recovery strategy. The backups should be exactly in synch with your LiveCycle database backups. In the rare event of a complete disaster, the DB backup and the Global Storage Folder backup should be restored in conjunction with each other. If separate IT groups are responsible for the backup of the appserver filesystem and the DB, procedures should be put in place so that these backups are co-ordinated to happen during the same time window.

Temporary Folder
This folder should be created on exactly the same location on all members of a cluster. Each cluster member should have its own LiveCycle Temporary Folder.

adobeidp.RootDirectory
The value set for adobeidp.RootDirectory determines the location of some of LiveCycle’s runtime folders. You can set this property’s value as a JVM argument such as follows:
-Dadobeidp.RootDirectory=/opt/bea_home/user_projects/domains/livecycle (WebLogic example).
This folder should be created on exactly the same location on all members of a cluster.

Adobe Server Fonts Folder
This folder should be created on exactly the same location on all members of a cluster. Each horizontal cluster member should have its own LiveCycle Fonts Folder. Vertical cluster members can share this folder. The contents should be the same on all cluster members. This folder is always created wherever LiveCycle is installed (/opt/adobe/livecycle8/fonts/ or C:\Adobe\LiveCycle8\fonts\). Make sure that this folder’s contents are copied to all of the horizontal cluster members.

Customer Fonts Folder
This folder is usually empty unless your documents or forms require special fonts.
This folder should be created on exactly the same location on all members of a cluster. Each horizontal cluster member should have its own LiveCycle Customer Fonts folder. Vertical cluster members (those on the same server) can share this folder.

System Fonts Folder
Ensure that this folder (whose location is usually predictable for all LiveCycle-supported Operating Systems) is in the same location for all members of a horizontal cluster. In Windows, this is usually C:\Windows\Fonts\. On AIX, this is usually /usr/lpp/X11/lib/X11/fonts/

AppServer Transaction Log Folder (WebSphere)
WebSphere 6.1 lets appserver instances recover one another’s transaction logs (peer recovery). For this to work, define a common network share for all members of a cluster. You can find the setting using the WebSphere Admin Console as a property of the Transaction Service (Container Services). An understanding of lease-based file locking might be useful in configuring this. Windows 2003 Server’s CIFS as well as v4 of NFS support this. More details are available in two excellent IBM WebSphere Developer Technical Journal articles:
Transactional high availability and deployment considerations in WebSphere Application Server
Automate peer recovery for transactions and messages in WebSphere Application Server

Also, see Howard Treisman’s blog on the same subject. Howard is CTO of Adobe partner Avoka Technologies in Australia.

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