How do I create a Network Load Balancing (NLB) cluster with Windows Server 2003?

A. Windows 2003 includes the NLB application (nlbmgr.exe), which simplifies the creation of NLB clusters, avoiding the need to manually enable and configure NLB service on NIC instances. To create an NLB cluster, perform these steps:

  1. Start the Network Load Balancing Manager application (Start, Programs, Administrative Tools, Network Load Balancing Manager).
  2. From the Cluster menu select New.
  3. The screen displays the cluster parameters dialog box. Enter the IP address and subnet mask for the NLB cluster. Then enter the full Internet name for the cluster and select either Uni or Multi cast mode. If you have a single NIC in the NLB server members, then you should select Multi-cast to ensure that NLB servers can communicate directly with each other. You can also specify a remote control password, as the figure shows. Click Next.
  4. Additionally, you can configure IP addresses for the NLB to respond to. Add as necessary, then click Next.
  5. You'll see the port rules dialog box, which lets you configure specific ports for traffic. The default balances all incoming traffic between the NLB cluster members. Click Next.
  6. The next page lets you add a server to the NLB cluster by selecting the host and the interface, as the figure shows.
  7. Next, you set the host parameters. Select a Priority level, which must be unique for each member of the NLB cluster (1-32 are available) and confirm the node's dedicated IP information, as the figure shows. Click Finish.
  8. You can now add additional members by right-clicking the NLB cluster instance and select Add Host To Cluster from the displayed context menu.
  9. Enter the name of the server that you want to become a member and select the interface. Click Next.
  10. You'll see the host details; select a unique Priority and click Finish.
After a short time, the Status should switch in the overview screen of the NLB cluster in the Network Load Balancing Manager tool to a mixture of converging for existing nodes and pending for the new node; after completion, all the status of all nodes will show as Converged. You can also use the WLBS command-line tool with a number of different switches to obtain information about the cluster (e.g., WLBS Display will show full information about the NLB cluster and WLBS Query displays the local servers' NLB status. You should now manually create a DNS host record for the NLB name pointing to the NLB IP address.
TAGS: Windows 8
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