Scaling and configuring the Marketing Automation Engine

The Marketing Automation Engine processes plan and activity enrollments, and will experience higher load as the number of work items increases.

Installation

Use the Sitecore Installation Framework (SIF) or the Sitecore Azure Toolkit (SAT) to install the Marketing Automation Engine. Refer to the installation guide for your version of the platform for more information.

Scaling the Marketing Automation Engine

The following table describes the way you can scale the Marketing Automation Engine:

Scaling option

Supported

Notes

Combined instance

Partially

The Marketing Automation Engine is a worker role and cannot be combined with any other XP services. For example, you cannot combine the Marketing Automation Engine and the xConnect Search Indexer into a single Windows Service or WebJob.

Standalone instance

Yes

You can deploy the Marketing Automation Engine as:

  • A Windows Service that runs on the same server as the Marketing Automation Operations role or any combination that includes this role, such as the XP Single topology.

  • An Azure WebJob that runs in the same context as the Marketing Automation Operations web application or any combination that includes this role, such as the XP Single topology.

High availability and failover

Yes

You can fail over to a passive instance of the Marketing Automation Engine or run multiple active instances.

Note

The Marketing Automation Engine does not have a health check API endpoint. You must use an external tool to monitor the WebJob or Windows Service health.

Horizontal scaling for load distribution

Yes

Multiple instances of the Marketing Automation Engine can process tasks in parallel. All instances must connect to one centrally located Marketing Automation database.

Performance tuning tasks

Considering the following performance tuning tasks if the Marketing Automation Engine is processing work items too slowly:

  • Vertically scale the Marketing Automation database by increasing the number of DTUs, and be aware that the default DTU allocation in Azure is relatively low.

  • Consider that the xConnect Collection Search service may be a bottleneck in plan processing and requires scaling.

  • Vertically scale the Marketing Automation Engine by increasing the number of pool workers.

  • The Marketing Automation Engine relies heavily on the InteractionsCache facet to evaluate conditions that rely on interaction data. Tune the interaction cache facet settings to ensure that the data required by your conditions are available - for example, the default MaximumInteractionPeriod is 30 days. Conditions that rely on data older than 30 days may not evaluate correctly.

Note

We recommend that you monitor load and response times across the platform before choosing to scale a particular role. Performance issues might be the result of a bottleneck elsewhere in the system.

Default topologies and packages

The following tables list the topologies that include the Marketing Automation Engine and how the role is packaged by default.

Sitecore Installation Framework

The Marketing Automation Engine is available in the following default topologies for the Sitecore Installation Framework:

Topology

Web Deploy Packages

Description

XP Single

Sitecore 9.X.X rev. XXXXXX (OnPrem)_xp0xconnect.scwdp.zip

The Marketing Automation Engine is bundled with all other XP service roles. The engine is installed as a Windows Service and is physically located in the App_data\jobs\continuous\AutomationEngine folder.

XP Scaled

Sitecore 9.X.X rev. XXXXXX (OnPrem)_xp1marketingautomation.scwdp.zip

The Marketing Automation Engine is bundled with the Marketing Automation Operations. The engine is installed as a Windows Service and is physically located in the App_data\jobs\continuous\AutomationEngine folder.

Sitecore Azure Toolkit

The Marketing Automation Engine is available in the following default topologies for the Sitecore Azure Toolkit:

Topology

Web Deploy Packages

Description

XP Single

Sitecore 9.X.X rev. XXXXXX (Cloud)_xp0xconnect.scwdp.zip

The Marketing Automation Engine is bundled with all other XP service roles. The engine runs as an Azure WebJob in the context of the combined application.

xDB Single

XP Scaled

Sitecore 9.X.X rev. XXXXXX (Cloud)_xp1marketingautomation.scwdp.zip

The Marketing Automation Engine is bundled with Marketing Automation Operations. The engine runs as an Azure WebJob in the context of the Marketing Automation Operations application.

xDB Scaled