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If you are going to share the same EPM for multiple IOP instances -- for example all instances share the same user -- then it makes sense to consider distributed environment. Otherwise, do not use it
But as mentioned earlier evenif you have multiple IOP instances spread across the machines, as per instructions you have to copy IOP installer on EPM machine doesn't it mean that EPM & IOP are on same machine. How it becomes distibuted in that way?
You can try using shared network drive instead of manually copying.
The install bits needed for some software to run is an artifact of how the system is designed. And that has nothing to do with runtime behaviour and what processes are running on which machines. There wont be any IOP process on the EPM machine if thats what you are worried about.
1. Multiple users can be defined in the single HSS and can be shared by multiple iop instances hosted on same/different machines.
2. All the IOP instances can run independently on their individual JVM
3. The centralized EPM server can host services like HSS, OBIEE, Essbase etc.