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Installing multiple build agents on same machine pointing to different collection controllers RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi,

    This is what we have:

    We have one dedicated build server (it’s a Virtual machine)

    We have three Team Foundation Collections

    We have one TFS Server and some other dev and POC server where we can install additional build services and controllers (no agent though)

    We cannot currently buy more build machines because of additional setup, maintenance and VM license cost.

    Problem:

    I am struggling to use one build machine for our three collections. We can install controllers in any other servers we have but due to limited hardware (on other machines) we can’t install build agents outside our build server. Our build server currently has 8 processors (and 8 disk drives one for each agent).

    If we spread three build controllers (one for each collection) to different servers can we link these controllers to build agents on same machine? Or is there any design constraint that only controllers for same collection can be linked to build agents running on same machine? I don’t want to use any hack in prod environment i.e. to install build services on same server running on different ports etc.

    We are also considering the possibility of moving all projects into same collection so we can utilize the build server for all of the projects. Managing security of projects for each team will be another challenge though.

    I will appreciate if there is any other suggestion you have.

    Thanks,

    Hassan


    Syed Hassan Abbas

    Thursday, May 21, 2015 7:01 AM

Answers

  • Hi Hassan ,  

    Thanks for your post.

    No, we cannot install multiple build agents on the machine point to different collection controllers. Because the Build Service need configure the for one certain collection, so all build agents under the Build Service can only connect to this certain collection’s controllers. So you need install the build agent machine for each collection.

    If you cannot install build agent machine for each collection, you can try move all your projects to the same collection like you said.


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    • Marked as answer by hasanboby Friday, May 22, 2015 9:25 AM
    Friday, May 22, 2015 2:46 AM
    Moderator
  • I didn't had any issue.

    Started on TFS 2012 RTM, and upgraded to 2013 Up.4.

    The only problem is on upgrading, you have to make adicional steps, like registering again the build servers.

    But aside that, no problems.

    • Marked as answer by hasanboby Tuesday, May 26, 2015 11:07 AM
    Tuesday, May 26, 2015 10:34 AM

All replies

  • Hi Hassan ,  

    Thanks for your post.

    No, we cannot install multiple build agents on the machine point to different collection controllers. Because the Build Service need configure the for one certain collection, so all build agents under the Build Service can only connect to this certain collection’s controllers. So you need install the build agent machine for each collection.

    If you cannot install build agent machine for each collection, you can try move all your projects to the same collection like you said.


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    • Marked as answer by hasanboby Friday, May 22, 2015 9:25 AM
    Friday, May 22, 2015 2:46 AM
    Moderator
  • Thanks John,


    I hope MS will make it more flexible to let share the infrastructure in 2015 VNext build? I read the following here.

    http://geekswithblogs.net/jakob/archive/2015/01/15/tfs-build-vnext-ndash-a-preview.aspx

    “Sharing build infrastructure. The concept of a build controller tied to a collection is gone, instead we will create agent pools at the deployment level and connect agents to those.”

    http://nakedalm.com/configure-a-build-vnext-agent-on-vso

    You can add an agent to a pool and share a pool across many collections. This removed the old need to have completely separate sets of agents for each collection.

     

    We will need the build setup for other teams in 2-3 months anyway. Do you still suggest to move all projects to single collection? Will this not be extra overhead for managing security for growing projects for different teams in same collection?

    Once again I appreciated your prompt response, Thanks


    Syed Hassan Abbas

    Friday, May 22, 2015 9:20 AM
  • Hi Hassan,  

    Thanks for your reply.

    Current TFS 2013 version not support that vNext build. But yes, it will available in TFS 2015 version, and that default vNext build feature to build in collections. If your team will upgrade to TFS 2015 Server once the TFS 2015 RTM release, I think you needn’t move projects to one same collection in your current TFS Server, wait the TFS 2015 RTM release, and use this vNext Build feature in TFS 2015 Server.


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    Friday, May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
    Moderator
  • Hi Hassan,

    That feature is not officially supported(will be on 2015)

    But, I use one build machine to multiple collection, and it's great.

    The tutorial that I based my installation was this:

    http://blogs.msdn.com/b/jimlamb/archive/2010/04/13/configuring-multiple-tfs-build-services-on-one-machine.aspx

    On my case, I have 2 build controllers with the agents installed on the same machine.

    Worked like a charm :)

    • Proposed as answer by P. Alves Monday, May 25, 2015 4:56 PM
    Monday, May 25, 2015 4:54 PM
  • Hi Hassan,  

    The above solution which P.Alves provided is not the Official support way, but you can try it if you want.


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    Tuesday, May 26, 2015 2:44 AM
    Moderator
  • I know this option but as its not supported or recommended I am not comfortable to do that on Prod. So in your experience you haven't faced any issue? I am still not sure why Microsoft guys says don't do that on Prod. I am not sure what is the risk. I migh t try it until TFS 2015 RTM and then switch to VNext build.

    Syed Hassan Abbas

    Tuesday, May 26, 2015 9:30 AM
  • I didn't had any issue.

    Started on TFS 2012 RTM, and upgraded to 2013 Up.4.

    The only problem is on upgrading, you have to make adicional steps, like registering again the build servers.

    But aside that, no problems.

    • Marked as answer by hasanboby Tuesday, May 26, 2015 11:07 AM
    Tuesday, May 26, 2015 10:34 AM
  • Thanks Alves,

    Much appreciated.


    Syed Hassan Abbas

    Tuesday, May 26, 2015 11:07 AM