I have a functioning login flow for my site via IdentityServer. When I test the flow on the CM server (but the frontend site) everything works ok. When I try the same thing on my CD server, I get:

Unable to reach an external identity provider.

IDX20803: Unable to obtain configuration from: '[PII is hidden]'.

No obvious errors are logged. It simply fails to find an IdentityProvider.

The Sitecore version is 9.1.1 and has been provisioned via Azure Marketplace.

2 Answers 2


Turns out, when Sitecore sets up these instances, it does some variable replacement in various config files.

On CM, the file Sitecore.Owin.Authentication.IdentityServer.config gets this replacement (near the top of the file):

<sc.variable name="identityServerAuthority" value="https://[redacted]-si.azurewebsites.net" />

So the installation script will have replaced the token that was presumably in place here, with the real host of IdentityServer.

On the CD server, however, the file looks like this (by default):

<sc.variable name="identityServerAuthority" value="https://SitecoreIdentityServerHost" />

Which will obviously fail to resolve. Looks like a typo on whatever token replacement was to take place here.

  • just also got this issue and spent some hours to resolve. Seems this is a good candidate for opening Support ticket. Apr 20, 2020 at 19:52

Check that your Sitecore license file in the identity server is not expired

I had the same symptoms, but locally, the fix ended up being my sitecore license file stored in the identity server had expired. This was causing the IIS app pool to never properly startup.

Once I used the same license file as my CD/CM nodes, I was good to go!

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