Configure node.ini or cluster.ini for Search Services

Years ago, Ross Brodbeck wrote some excellent articles on AquaLogic search clustering.  The information there is still applicable in WebCenter Interaction Search, and I won’t re-hash it here.  I definitely encourage you to give those articles a read for everything you ever needed to know about search – well, except this one more thing that I personally always seem to overlook.

In the old days, there was a node.ini file that allowed you to configure Plumtree (and AquaLogic) search memory parameters.  When clustering arrived, the node.ini file disappeared from the installer but the sample files stayed in PT_HOME\ptsearchserver\10.3.0\<servername>\config\.  These settings were supported in PT_HOME\ptsearchserver\10.3.0\cluster\cluster.ini so they could be applied to all nodes, but there are no sample files in that folder.

It turns out that you can still use a nodes.ini file by copying one of those sample files (such as win32-4GB.ini) to node.ini and restart your search node, but whether you use nodes.ini or cluster.ini, you absolutely should do this.  Out of the box, Search Server only uses 75MB of RAM, which is wildly inadequate in a production environment.  You can see how overloaded Search is by going to Administration, then “Select Utility: Search Cluster Manager”.  Notice the document load is almost at 500%, and the Cluster Manager provides helpful recommendations:

A little tweak to nodes.ini can go a long way:

… with just these settings:

# Recommended Search Server configuration for a
# Windows machine with 4Gb or more RAM and taking
# advantage of the /3GB switch in the boot.ini file
# of Windows 2000 Advanced Server.  The settings
# below allow considerable headroom (~1Gb) to support
# multiple concurrent crawls taxonomizing documents
# into the Knowledge Directory.  Installations with
# simpler crawler configurations may be able to
# increase the amount of memory allocated to the
# index and docset caches below, in which case a
# 3:1 ratio of index:docset should be maintained.



# Index cache 750Mb
# Docset cache 250Mb

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