Stand-alone server environment
Stand-alone Server environment refers to a single stand-alone server that is not managed as part of cell. With Base and express package, this is your only option. You can also create stand-alone server with Network Deployment package<
In this case each managed process has an administrative service that interacts with administration clients (Browser based or wsadmin). In this case both the administration client and administration service runs on the same application server. The configuration repository consist of one set of configuration files managed by the administrative service. System management is simplified in the sense that the changes made by the administrator are applied directly to the configuration files used by the server.
Distributed Server environment
Distributed Server environment refers to the situtation where you have multiple servers managed from a single deployment manager in the cell. In this case the application servers, node agents, deployment manager are called as managed processes. This option is only valid with the Network Deployment Package
In distributed server environment, administration tasks and configuration files are distributed amon the nodes, reducing the reliance on a central repository for administratioin server for basic functions and bring-up. The administrative services and the administrative console are hosted on the deployment manager. Managed applications are installed on nodes. Each node has a node agent that interacts with the deployment manager to maintain and manage the processes on that node.
Multiple sets of configuration files exists. The master configuration is maintained on the deployment manager node and pushed out, synchronized to the nodes. Each managed process starts with its own configuration file.
Configuration should always be done at the deployment manager and synchronized out to the nodes. Although therotically possible to configure nodes locally using wsadmin, it is not recommended and any changes made will be overwritten at the next synchronization.