Looking on the Sitecore Headless Development conceptual overview, it does not really clear if Rendering Host is supposed to replace CD or both roles are still needed.

Sitecore NextJS Getting Started template generates sample solution with CM and Rendering roles only. But that might be just a local development setup. Are there any recomendations for the PROD configuration?

2 Answers 2


Both roles are still required in non-development environments. As per Sitecore FAQ on this page:

With Sitecore Headless Development, you run the following instances:

  • A Content Delivery (CD) instance carrying less load, because it no longer handles the presentation layer. The CD instance still handles tracking, Sitecore Layout Service requests, GraphQL queries, personalization, and so on.
  • A lightweight rendering host that handles the presentation layer.

The NextJS Getting Started template contains all roles, but it is possible that you used sitecore-xp0 topology which is suitable for local development setup and does not create a CD container. Topologies sitecore-xm1 and sitecore-xp1 do have a CD container in their docker-compose.yml files.


on top of what Anna already mentioned, you'll see that the template comes with the Rendering Host pointing to CM by default (SITECORE_API_HOST = "http://cm"). I'd then recommend switching to CD for both local development and higher environments (ofc PROD), so you keep the architecture aligned.

Also worth mentioning Experience Edge for XM would be the replacement for your CD instances in your architecture, good to have a look at this possibility as would make your architecture future-proof and easier to migrate to XM Cloud later.

Ref: https://doc.sitecore.com/xp/en/developers/101/developer-tools/sitecore-experience-edge-for-xm.html

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