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IIS on Multiple Servers

Posted on 2004-10-27
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-20
We currently host our website through a Windows 2003 server using IIS services.  We have trouble when it comes to rebooting this machine.  Our website goes down from the internet and I am looking for a solution to this issue.  Is it possible to load our website on two different IIS machines to ensure our site is always availiable no matter which server is down?  If so, could someone help me out in what steps I would need to take?  I do have other Windows 2003 and Windows 2000 Server machines.  Thanks!
Question by:sbryant007
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LVL 33

Accepted Solution

humeniuk earned 2000 total points
ID: 12427241
There are two steps to this.  The first is to make sure your primary server is replicated on your secondary server.  The easiest way to do this is with software that will automatically replicate any changes on the primary machine to the secondary machine.  Some examples are Availl Server Mirroring software (www.availl.com) or ViceVersa Pro (www.tgrmn.com).

The second step is to have a DNS failover system that monitors your primary server and, if it goes down, begins routing traffic to your secondary server.  ZoneEdit.com offers DNS failover as on option with their DNS service, but a higher-end option might be DNS Made Easy's DNS failover service (see www.dnsmadeeasy.com/s0306/prod/dnsfo.html).

If you are running your own DNS servers, you can probably configure them to provide failover service (depending on what you are using), but remember that if your DNS server and primary web server are on the same machine they'll both go out at the same time.

Expert Comment

ID: 12481320
If your two server is at same place you can use clustering with Microsoft Advanced server. Or you can use proxy for serving requests (if one server is down, then proxy request pages automaticaly from other...)
LVL 23

Expert Comment

ID: 12483994

What you need to do is open IIS Management Console (Internet Service Manager). Once you are in there, you can add a website by right-clicking on the default website and clicking on 'New Site'

Once you have entered the home directory, log directory, permissions, default pages etc etc, go into the properties of the new web site you have created. ou should have the Web Site tab up by default. Click on Advanced. You will be presented with an area to add your host header names. Enter the named you want in here to resolve to the website (make sure you leave the IP address as 'All Unassigned' then click ok, and start your new website. This can be done on every site that you host through IIS, but make sure you leave the IP address to ' All Unassigned'

You can add entries such as

80     All Unassigned     test.com.au
80     All Unassigned     www.test.com.au

Understanding Web Applications

Without even knowing it, most of us are using web applications on a daily basis. Gmail and Yahoo email, Twitter, Facebook, and eBay are used by most of us daily—and they are web applications. We often confuse these web applications tools for websites.  So, what is the difference?

LVL 17

Expert Comment

ID: 12499153
What I would do is find out why the server goes down!

Have you looked at the log files of the web server, have you looked at event viewer to see what is there right before the machine goes down?

What kind of traffic do you have on this machine? If nothing major, I would not invest in a cluster, unless you have the money to spare...
LVL 34

Expert Comment

ID: 12816584
The easiest possible solution is to use the built in Load Balancing features of Windows 2003 Advanced Server to load balance the traffic across two or more servers.

If you use the IIS 6.0 Migration tool to copy your site (configuration and content) to a second server and then set the up as a load balanced pair you will split the traffic between them unless one of them goes down. At that time all traffic will be automatically sent to the functioning server until the other server is returned to service.

Dave Dietz
LVL 34

Expert Comment

ID: 12905102
Load balancing is a common and well recognized way of doign what the asker is looking for and does not rely on a third-party DNS round robin implementation.

Dave Dietz
LVL 33

Expert Comment

ID: 12908233
I should have commented prior to closing the question, but just noticed Dave_Dietz's comments now (this is an old question): "Load balancing is a common and well recognized way of doing what the asker is looking for . . ."

He is correct that this is an easier way to accomplish what the asker wanted to do, therefore if he requested that the question be re-opened and the points split, I wouldn't object.
LVL 34

Expert Comment

ID: 12910246
Sorry, didn't see that it had been closed - was on vacation and was going through backlogged mail.

Don't go to the trouble of reopening the question to split the points, I'll just go find another question or two to answer.....  ;-)

Dave Dietz

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