You might have heard the term “Instance” many times related to your Salesforce Org and may be wondering what is it? So before knowing which Instance you are on, let’s get to the definition of “Salesforce Instance” first. A “Salesforce Instance” is the data center/server that hosts your Salesforce Org. One instance can host many orgs at a time. This innovative server management technology is called as ‘Multi-tenancy’ in Cloud Computing.

Now that you know that “Salesforce Instance” refers to a server, you may also want to know where exactly in this world is your instance located? There are two aspects to knowing your instance. One is which instance am I on? and the second is where is the server located of my instance? Let’s dive right in.

There are three ways you can determine which instance you are on:

  1. Looking at the browser address bar (If My Domain is not enabled)
  2. Checking in Company Information (If My Domain is enabled)
  3. Using Windows Command Prompt or Mac OS’ terminal and run nslookup
1. Looking at the Browser Address Bar (If My Domain is not enabled)

After you login to Salesforce, navigate to your web browser address bar and check the first part of URL after ‘https://’ and before ‘lightning.force.com’.  It should be two letters and a number in a format like ‘xy1’.  Salesforce Instance names are abbreviated for that particular region or continent. We will come to decoding the instance name in a bit under “Checking where my instance is located” section.

Checking Salesforce Instance Name in Browser URL

2. Checking in Company Information (If My Domain is enabled)

When MyDomain is enabled for your Salesforce Org, you will not see instance name in the address bar. To check instance name in this case, log in to Salesforce as an Admin (or if you have permission to view setup) and navigate to Setup -> Company Information. You can find your Salesforce instance in the right column below Organization Edition.

Checking Salesforce Instance Name in Company Profile

3. Using Windows Command Prompt or Mac OS’ terminal and run nslookup

Alternatively, you can use native Windows or Mac OS tools.

  • Press and hold ‘Windows’ key on keyboard and press ‘R’ letter key
  • Windows Run Dialog will open. Type ‘cmd’ and hit ‘Enter’
  • Type ‘nslookup’ followed by ‘yourdomain.my.salesforce.com’ and hit ‘Enter’
  • You will see your instance name below in the line which starts with ‘Name:xy1’ where ‘xy1’ will be your instance.

Checking Salesforce Instance Name through nslookup

Checking Where Your Instance is Located 

You have learned how to determine your instance and now are curious to know what those letters ‘xy1’ stand for. As mentioned instances are abbreviated as per the region or continent that they serve. For e.g. Our org instance is ‘ap8’ which means it is located in Asia Pacific region and it is served by Kobe or Tokyo data centers in Japan. How did we find this? Simply navigating to this Knowledge article https://help.salesforce.com/articleView?id=000257307&type=1&language=en_US Once you determine what instance you are on then visit the above link to check where it is located. This knowledge articles has a list of all current instances and the data centers it gets served from.

References

  1. View instance information for your Salesforce organization (10 minutes) – https://help.salesforce.com/articleView?id=000002889&type=1 
  2. Where is my Salesforce instance located? (15 minutes) – https://help.salesforce.com/articleView?id=000257307&type=1&language=en_US