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BluePrism architecture including a server with the sole purpose of hosting the BP server service

  • 1.  BluePrism architecture including a server with the sole purpose of hosting the BP server service

    Posted 09-23-2020 09:46
    Hi BluePrism fanatics,

    Ik have a question about our current BluePrism architecture. We have 2 VM's. The first VM hosts the BluePrism Server Service and the second one is a Runtime Resource. If we want to scale up in the near future, what would be the pro's and cons of using the VM that hosts the Server Service as a runtime resource as well? I am curious. Because currently the first VM is only used for hosting the service and it feels a little bit like waste. 

    Curious what your thoughts are. 

    Best,
    Nanne

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    Nanne van der Wal
    RPA Developer
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  • 2.  RE: BluePrism architecture including a server with the sole purpose of hosting the BP server service

    Posted 09-24-2020 05:16
    We typically would not recommend using the App Server as a Runtime Resource, not just for sizing reasons, but for security reasons as well.

    • The App Server service account will have access to the Database. We'd want to limit access to the App Server to reduce the possibility of someone gaining access to the DB
    • The App Server should store the encryption key. We'd want to limit access to the App Server to reduce the possibility of someone accessing that key
    • The App Server is recommended to run on Windows Server edition - where some applications needed for automations might not even run correctly
    • The sizing recommendations of the App Server assume that the Runtime Resource is not being used on it
    • Many environments need to use the Login Agent, which can log in and out of the Runtime Resource.  The Login Agent concept wouldn't work well with having to log in and out of the Application Server machine


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    James Man
    Professional Services
    Blue Prism
    Asia/Hong_Kong
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  • 3.  RE: BluePrism architecture including a server with the sole purpose of hosting the BP server service

    Posted 09-24-2020 05:22
    Thanks James for the elaborate answer. Reasoning is very clear. Seems very logical now to not use that machine as a runtime resource and rather employ an extra VM.

    Thanks a lot!

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    Nanne van der Wal
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  • 4.  RE: BluePrism architecture including a server with the sole purpose of hosting the BP server service

    Posted 09-24-2020 09:19
    Would these concerns be alleviated if the server service was run under a different account than what the robots and Login Agent are using? As far as the encryption key goes, is that being stored in plain text or is it encrypted?

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    Nicholas Zejdlik
    RPA Developer
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  • 5.  RE: BluePrism architecture including a server with the sole purpose of hosting the BP server service

    Posted 09-25-2020 03:39
    Even the operational impact on running resource and server on the same VM would be manageable, as soon as you have more than one runtime resource it quickly becomes difficult. 
    With one single resource on the server, if one goes down the other one would not work anyway, so the additional impact is limited.
    With several resource VM + one resource on the server, each time the server resource goes down it might (and very likely will) impact the whole server and furthermore all other resource VM. 

    Each company set-up is unique but in our case we already have 15 resource VMs and this type of impact would not be acceptable. 
    Costs of VM should be very low anyways so there will be no savings by reducing the number of VM compared to additional complexity and efforts, which comes with additional efforts.

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    Walter Koller
    Solution Manager
    Erste Group IT International GmbH
    Europe/Vienna
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