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Hosting Model "Divide and Conquer"

There are various ways to host DNN, but almost no guidance for setting things up properly. We call this model Divide and Conquer - and we hope others will also create checklists for other models. 

Divide and Conquer - Overview

The Divide and Conquer is a large scale setup, separating every service into an own VM. As soon as other models have been described, we'll link theme here. 


  1. Robust, scallable setup with few downtimes
  2. Very solid security preventing future attacks based on best practices
  3. Flexibility to grow, change or upgrade parts of the solution as needed
  4. Flexibility to scale up and out
  5. Flexibility for exceptions, when necessary

Architecture and Basic vs. Advanced Model

The basic model is probably the most common, where the web server also has the files on an own drive and uses an external database server. Here you can see the concepts of the Basic and Advanced Model

  1. Servers and Services Architecture
  2. Server Basics: Versions, Licenses and Maintenance
  3. Service-Users / Identities
  4. Website file storage structure and permission 

How It's Built

  1. Basic web server Setup and Preparation TODO
    1. Installation and Features
    2. IIS configuration and hardening
    3. Harden the System Drive against access of the Application Pool Identities 
  2. Setup the Website Files (Checklist)
  3. Web Server Concept - with checklists [todo]
  4. IIS Configuration per Site
  5. Database Server Concept - with setup checklist [todo]
  6. Monitoring
  7. Backup and Security
  8. Maintenance Cycles

Advanced Model - With Separate File Server

In this model, files are stored on a dedicated windows file server. You can start with the basic model and move to an advanced model if you need to - for example when you need more flexibility or a Farm Setup. 

  1. Setup a standalone Windows File Server
  2. configure IIS to use UNC paths