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Choosing a Deployment Architecture

FME Server supports three primary options for installation: Express, Distributed/Fault Tolerant, and Distributed Engine.


An Express architecture installs all the required components of FME Server on a single host machine, and is the quickest and easiest way to get started with FME Server.

Perform an Express installation if you are not concerned about planning for a Distributed/Fault Tolerant architecture (see below). You want to get started quickly with FME Server.


A Distributed/Fault Tolerant installation provides options for spreading components across a network, ensuring high availability, and allowing greater control of some components that you provide and maintain yourself.

Within the Distributed/Fault Tolerant scenario are two primary architectures:

  • Fault Tolerance: Comprised of redundant FME Servers spread across separate servers, this architecture ensures that if a hardware component fails, FME Server remains online. A third-party load balancer is required, which directs incoming traffic to one of the redundant web components. To learn more, see Planning for Fault Tolerance.
  • Distributed: This scenario distributes some FME Server components to achieve a 2- or 3-tiered architecture. The primary benefit of a distributed system is to keep components separate so that each can be managed by the appropriate expert team. However, it does not provide the same level of high availability, and therefore is not recommended over a fault-tolerant scenario. To learn more, see Distributing FME Server Components.

Distributed Engine

The Distributed Engine installation allows you to build onto a current FME Server installation by Adding FME Engines on a Separate Machine. For more information, see Planning for Scalability and Performance.