Network Load Balancing

– Server 2003

– 2 physical NICs (first for cluster, second for LAN)

– NLB installed

– Both NICs cabled with CAT5 to the network (Mine were vLAN’d to the DMZ due to it being a web server)

Configure one of the NICs as a your regular IP for network traffic.  The following will only show you the information needed for the NLB NIC.

NIC 1 (cluster)

  • Enable “Network Load Balancing” and click on “Properties”
  • “Cluster Parameters” tab, type in the cluster IP, Subnet, and Internet name.  For this setup we also used “Unicast” as the operation mode.

  • “Host Parameters” tab, put in the Priority, Dedicated IP, Sub, for that NIC and you may want to check the box for the option “Retain suspended state after computer restarts” to avoid troubleshooting issues.
    • Priority:  The servers need to be in order 1-32 for failover sequence.

  • “Port Rules” tab, depending on what ports you will be using for this server, create a rule for that port.  I used 80 & 443, the rest were pre-defined.
    • Port Rules need to be the same on EVERY SERVER in the cluster

Click “OK” and go into the properties of “Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)”

  • Enter the IP, Subnet, and Gateway of the Dedicated IP placed in the “Host Parameters” tab of the Network Load Balancing tab.  There isn’t a need to place DNS server addresses since the LAN NIC will be the one communicating with your domain.

  • Click “Advanced” and in the “IP Settings” tab, add the cluster IP to the list.
  • “DNS” tab, uncheck “Register this connection’s addresses in DNS” and add the DNS suffixes.

Once at least 2 servers are configured, open up the “Network Load Balancing” server and try connecting to the Internet name or the current servers Host name.  The list should show all server connected to the cluster and whether or not they are active.

Possible Issues:

  • Cluster NIC may try to take priority over the second NIC which causes domain connecting issues.

Possible Solutions

  • Go into the LANs NICs Advanced Properties in the “IP Settings” tab and set the “Interface Metric” to 1 and the Cluster NICs metric to 2.  (Lower the number, the higher priority it takes)

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