Backing up and restoring your ArcGIS Server site configuration

Server administrators often want to preserve periodic backups of their site configurations so that a site can be restored in the event of hardware failure, human error, or other problems. To address this need, ArcGIS for Server allows you to make a backup of your site configuration. You make the backups on a regular basis when your site is healthy. If your site has a problem, you can import a backup to restore the site to its original state.

Information included in the backup

Information not included

  • Service configurations and service properties
  • Server object extensions (SOEs)
  • Registered data store item locations
  • User and role information
  • List of machines in the site
  • Clusters and their lists of machines
  • Log settings
  • Cache tiles and tiling schemes
  • Data used by your services (unless the data was copied to the server automatically at publish time)
  • Dynamically generated map images and other temporary output
  • Log messages (including Geoprocessing job statuses and messages)
  • Primary site administrator name and password
  • Web Adaptor configurations

Protecting information not included in the backup

As noted above, some information is not included in the backup of your site. It's recommended you manually back up this information at the same time you run the backup utility. When you restore the site, manually copy or move this information back to the site, for example:

Making a backup of your site

To make a backup, you open a command prompt and run the Backup utility installed with ArcGIS Server. You must supply the name and password of a user who has administrator privileges to the site when running this utility. Your ArcGIS Server account needs write access to the folder where you will place the backup.

You cannot make other administrative changes to your site while the backup is in progress.

Restoring a backup of your site

Once you have made a backup, you can restore it at any time. Use the following steps to perform a restore:

  1. Close ArcGIS Server Manager and any other application on your machine that is making a connection to ArcGIS Server.
  2. Open a command prompt window using the Run as administrator option and run the Restore utility installed with ArcGIS Server.

    You must perform the restore using the URL of the GIS server through port 6080. The restore operation is not supported through the ArcGIS Web Adaptor.

    When running this utility, you must supply the credentials of a user who has administrator privileges to the ArcGIS Server site. This doesn't need to be the same user you used when you created the backup.

    The restore operation is computationally intensive and can take some time to complete. The server is unavailable to respond to other requests while the restore is running.


    Do not perform administrative or publishing operations on the site while the restore is running.

    When the restore has completed, the response displays messages about anything that may require manual intervention to completely restore. The restore utility provides an optional parameter to write this information to a file.

  3. Review and fix any issues listed in the response that require manual intervention.
  4. If your site included a Web Adaptor, rerun the Web Adaptor configuration.

After you restore a site, you continue using the primary site administrator name and password that was in place when you performed the restore. If you edited the security configuration or added users and roles at any time after you saved the backup, you must make those edits again once the restore is complete.

You may also need to adjust machine and cluster settings in your site. For example, if you added machines at any time after you saved the backup, you must add those machines again once the restore is complete.

Similarly, if you replaced a machine in a cluster after saving a backup, you may need to reconfigure your cluster after performing the restore. If all the machines in a cluster cannot be found during the restore, the services in that cluster will not start until you add a machine back into the cluster.