Install Multiple Instances of SOLR for Sitecore Development

Did you know that you can run multiple instances of SOLR on a machine for local development as a Sitecore developer?

Since we have moved on from Lucene to SOLR in our development efforts starting with 9 it makes sense to move to SOLR starting in version 8 as the move will be inevitable. With Lucene as our old index provider this didn’t used to be a problem having several instances of Sitecore on our local machines, but when you start using SOLR you need to be cognizant of a few things so you can set up your development environments quickly.

I read a great blog post earlier that gave me what I needed to get 2 SOLR instances setup on my local machine. This can easily be increased as Sitecore projects come into play in your Sitecore travels. Below is the blog post I mentioned, which was a great starting point:

Install Multiple Instances of SOLR for Sitecore on a single server

What you need to know when setting up many instances is that there needs to be a common JRE that will work for ALL SOLR instances on your local machine!

I am currently using SOLR 6.6.2 for SItecore 9, and SOLR 5.5.2 for Sitecore 8.2. When I tried to start my SOLR 5.5.2 instance I got an error that I needed “Java 1.7 or higher” even though I had JRE 9.0.1. Makes no sense right? Bottom line is that SOLR 5.5.2 doesn’t play well with the later versions of Java.

Again, I needed to have a common JRE that worked with both instances of SOLR (5.5.2 & 6.6.2) and that was Java 8 (8u162). Once I uninstalled 9.0.1, installed Java 8 (8u162), and then modified my JAVA_HOME environment variables to point to the freshly installed Java 8 (8u162) instance, I was able to start both SOLR instances as Windows services with NSSM on port 8985 (5.5.2) and port 8986 (6.6.2) respectively.

Once you make these changes you will then need to set your Sitecore instances to point to the correct SOLR instance accordingly using a patch config in the following config file “App_Config\Sitecore.ContentSearch.Solr.DefaultIndexConfiguration.config” in the “ContentSearch.Solr.ServiceBaseAddress” setting below:

<!-- SERVICE BASE ADDRESS
Base url of the Solr server. (minus any cores and minus a trailing slash)
-->
<setting name="ContentSearch.Solr.ServiceBaseAddress" value="http://localhost:8985/solr" />

Once you have that in place per Sitecore instance you are all set. Happy coding!

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