Configuring Servers for Remote Live Staging

Before you can enable Remote Live staging for a site, you must satisfy some necessary requirements:

  • Add the remote Liferay server to the current Liferay server’s list of allowed servers, and vice versa.
  • Specify an authentication key to be shared by your current and remote server.
  • Enable each Liferay server’s tunneling servlet authentication verifier.
  • Update the Tunnel Auth Verifier Configuration of your remote Liferay instance.

Follow the steps below to configure your servers for Remote Live staging.

  1. Add the following lines to your current Liferay server and remote Liferay server’s portal-ext.properties file:

    tunneling.servlet.shared.secret=[secret]
    tunneling.servlet.shared.secret.hex=true
    

    Liferay DXP’s use of a pre-shared key between your staging and production environments helps secure the remote publication process. It also removes the need to send the publishing user’s password to the remote server for web service authentication. Using a pre-shared key creates an authorization context (permission checker) from the provided email address, screen name, or user ID without the user’s password.

  2. Specify the values for the servers’ tunneling.servlet.shared.secret property.

    The values for these properties depend on the chosen configured encryption algorithm, since different encryption algorithms support keys of different lengths. See the HTTP Tunneling properties documentation for more information. Note that the following key lengths are supported by the available encryption algorithms:

    • AES: 128, 192, and 256 bit keys
    • Blowfish: 32 - 448 bit keys
    • DESede (Triple DES): 56, 112, or 168 bit keys (However, Liferay places an artificial limit on the minimum key length and does not support the 56 bit key length)

    To prevent potential character encoding issues, you can use one of the following two strategies:

    2a. Use hexadecimal encoding (recommended). For example, if your password was abcdefghijklmnop, you’d use the following settings in your portal-ext.properties file:

    tunneling.servlet.shared.secret=6162636465666768696a6b6c6d6e6f70
    tunneling.servlet.shared.secret.hex=true
    

    2b. Use printable ASCII characters (less secure). This degrades the password entropy.

    If you don’t use hexadecimal encoding (i.e., if you use the default setting tunneling.servlet.shared.secret.hex=false), the tunneling.servlet.shared.secret property’s value must be ASCII compliant.

    Once you’ve chosen a key, make sure the value of your current server matches the value of your remote server.

    Important: Do not share the key with any user. It is used exclusively for communication between staging and production environments. Any user with possession of the key can manage the production server, execute server-side Java code, etc.

  3. Add the following line to your remote Liferay server’s portal-ext.properties file:

    tunnel.servlet.hosts.allowed=127.0.0.1,SERVER_IP,[STAGING_IP]
    

    The [STAGING_IP] value must be replaced by the staging server’s IP addresses. If the server has multiple interfaces, each IP address must also be added, which would show as a source address for the http(s) requests coming from the staging server. The SERVER_IP constant can remain set for this property; it’s automatically replaced by the Liferay server’s IP addresses.

    If you’re validating IPv6 addresses, you must configure the app server’s JVM to not force the usage of IPv4 addresses. For example, if you’re using Tomcat, add the -Djava.net.preferIPv4Stack=false attribute in the $TOMCAT_HOME\bin\setenv.[bat|sh] file.

  4. Update the TunnelAuthVerfierConfiguration of your remote Liferay instance. To do this, navigate to the Control Panel → ConfigurationSystem SettingsAPI AuthenticationTunnel Authentication Verifiers. Click /api/liferay/do and insert the additional IP addresses you’re using in the Hosts allowed field. Then select Update.

    Alternatively, you can also write this configuration into an OSGi file (e.g., osgi/configs/com.liferay.portal.security.auth.verifier.tunnel.module.configuration.TunnelAuthVerifierConfiguration-default.config) in your Liferay DXP instance:

    enabled=true
    hostsAllowed=127.0.0.1,SERVER_IP,[Local server IP address]
    serviceAccessPolicyName=SYSTEM_USER_PASSWORD
    urlsIncludes=/api/liferay/do
    
  5. Restart both Liferay servers after making these configuration updates. After restarting, log back in to your local Liferay instance as a site administrator.

That’s all you need to do to configure Remote Live Staging! You can now enable it!

For additional information on configuring Remote Live staging, see the topics below.

Applying Patches When Using Remote Staging

When applying patches to a remote staging environment, you must apply them to all your servers. Having servers on different patch levels is not a good practice and can lead to import failures and data corruption. It is essential that all servers are updated to the same patch level to ensure remote staging works correctly.

Configuring Remote Staging’s Buffer Size

Similar to Local Live staging, it is a good idea to turn remote staging on at the beginning of your site’s development for good performance. When you’re using Remote Live staging, and you are publishing a large amount of content, your publication could be slow and cause a large amount of network traffic. Liferay DXP’s system is very fast for the amount of data being transferred over the network. This is because the data transfer is completed piecemeal, instead of one large data dump. You can control the size of data transactions by setting the following portal property in your portal-ext.properties file:

staging.remote.transfer.buffer.size

This property sets the file block sizes for remote staging. If a LAR file used for remote staging exceeds this size, the file will be split into multiple files prior to transmission and then reassembled on the remote server. The default buffer size is 10 megabytes.

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