PowerShell to Configure BizTalk Server 2016 Host, Host Instances and Adapter Handlers according to some of the Best Practices

One of the tasks that we need to do in all our new BizTalk environment over and over again is creating and configuring the Host, Host Instances and of course the adapter handlers.

This PowerShell is optimized for:

For the previous version see: 

Best practices for Configuring Hosts and Host Instances

As the official documentation specify, in addition to the high availability aspects of the host instance configuration, you should separate sending, receiving, processing, and tracking functionality into multiple hosts. This provides flexibility when configuring the workload in your BizTalk group and is the primary means of distributing processing across a BizTalk group.

This also allows you to stop one host without affecting other hosts. For example, you may want to stop sending messages to let them queue up in the MessageBox database, while still allowing the inbound receiving of messages to occur.

Separating host instances by functionality also provides some of the following benefits:

However, this also may bring some potential drawbacks if too many host instances are created because each host instance is a Windows service (BTSNTSvc.exe or BTSNTSvc64.exe), which generates additional load against the MessageBox database and consumes computer resources (such as CPU, memory, threads), so you need to be careful.

Normally we read that we need to create at least 4 host instances: sending, receiving, processing, and tracking, but that's not absolutely true because, at least with the newer environments, we typically use 64-bits versions and in this case we also need to create at least one Host Instance that will run on 32-bits because FTP adapter, SQL adapter, POP3 adapter and MIME Decoder on 64-bit host instances is not supported by the product (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa560166.aspx)

We can define that one of the best practices for hosts and host instances is the following:

Adapter Handlers

An adapter handler is an instance of a BizTalk host in which the adapter code runs. When you specify a send or receive handler for an adapter you are specifying which host instance the adapter code will run in the context of. An adapter handler is responsible for executing the adapter and contains properties for a specific instance of an adapter.

The default BizTalk Server configuration will only create one in-process host, "BizTalkServerApplication", that will be associated as a receive and send adapter handler for all of the installed adapters, with the exception of HTTP, SOAP, WCF-BasicHttp, WCF-WSHttp and WCF-CustomIsolated  adapter receive handlers that can only be running in an isolated host.

But, for purposes of load balancing, to provide process isolation for a particular adapter handler or to providing High Availability for BizTalk Hosts and according to  best practices we should strategically create dedicated logical hosts to run specific areas of functionality such as tracking, receiving messages, sending messages and processing orchestrations.


About Me

Sandro Pereira
DevScope | MVP & MCTS BizTalk Server 2010
http://sandroaspbiztalkblog.wordpress.com/ | @sandro_asp