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Network Load Balancing Basics

Posted on 2006-11-12
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Last Modified: 2011-10-03
I am trying to get to the bottom of using NLB under Windows 2003 and IIS6.

I am pretty clear on the initial setup of the cluster. After this is done, I understand that I have to manually sync the IIS metabase and the underlying files for the websites.

From then on in, do you have to continually sync the Metabase and the files on the HDD?

If so, how do you tackle this? Do you schedule a sync of the metabase every xx minutes, or do you train people making changes to the websites to kick this off?

Do you do the same sort of schedule with the files, or is there some tool that you can use to detect file changes and make sure they are copied server to server immediately?

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Question by:arrowtech
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DireOrbAnt earned 250 total points
ID: 17931746
NEtwork Load balancing does not replicate files, so you are on your own for that.
You can use a third party software like doubletake to replicate the data.
For IIS, if you don't have too many changes, then you are better off making them by hand on both servers.
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by:Becky
Becky earned 250 total points
ID: 17933983
I have NLB on Win2003 and II6 to, and yes we must sync our data.

I use this fantastic (and cheap) piece of software called ViceVersa Pro that allows me to do a full bi-directional sync.  It has a component called VVScheduler that hooks into Windows Scheduled Tasks.  I sync four websites, several FTP folders, some meta data, and other files and folders as needed.   Never had any issues with it - just be sure and take the time to fully read and understand the various settings available to you.

www.tgrmn.com
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Author Comment

by:arrowtech
ID: 18040418
Thanks guys, splitsies coming so you both get some props.

One question for your greensunie - what do you do to replicate the Metabase? Do you just do the changes you make on both servers?

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by:Becky
ID: 18055578
The metabase file will be slightly different for each server, even if the website content is the same because the metabase file contains hash data that, I believe, is tied to the server's name.

If you're sure the files are exactly the same (perhaps to a diff on them) you can also sync them using a sync tool (they're located at C:\WINDOWS\system32\inetsrv\ by default).

Whyat I do after making a change a website in IIS is:
2) At the website folder level or the single website level, I right click, select All Tasks, then Save configuration to a file.  I save that as a common config file that I can restore from it later if necessary.

You can also perform a simple backup of your metadata by right cliking at the server level, go to All Tasks --> backup/restore configuration, and saving a new configuration there.  I generally only keep one backup handy, deleting the old backup when I'm sure my most recent changes are working.
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by:arrowtech
ID: 19184920
Sorry guys - my bad for leaving an open question - points coming up!
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