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I'm going through Sitecore Commerce 8.2.1 architecture in http://commercesdn.sitecore.net/SitecoreCommerce/DevOpsGuide/en-us/index.html#Concepts/c_M_ProductionDeployments.html.

Are the Commerce services servers separate physical servers for each engine role or is it just 1 server with multiple roles? I'm asking this because the description below the diagram seems to suggest that there is just 1 server with 4 cores and 7GB memory required but the diagram suggests that there should be at least three servers for commerce services.

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Your setup depends on many factors like traffic, performance factors, scalability requirements, budget, devops practices, maintenance procedures, environment constrains and so on.

You can see one example of the setup in documentation. It is only high level illustration how it could look like.

I would start with one server with all engine roles. If you see that it is not sufficient and you have performance issues, you can easily remove site for engine role you don't need at that server and move it to separate server dedicated only to this engine role.

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Little Extrakt From pur live project:

In our project we even had everything at one machine per environment. So in the end a CM Server with sitecore and the commerce engine and the same for CD ans eben only oke Single CD Server.

This setup is the most minimal scenario but already performant enough for our use Case.

But in General if that is Not enough ist always quiet easy zu scale up with the given Architecture.

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