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Microsoft, Server 2003, 2003

Posted on 2007-08-05
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Hello Experts,

Little confusing ... what is the difference between "Server Clustering" and "Network Load Balance"?  Do you use both technology concurrently or separate?  Or is each independent of each other?  Meaning "server clustering" is for HA of applications or services and NLB is distribution of user access?  As always, thank you for your time on this matter and any clarification is greatly appreciated.
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Question by:coperator
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dhoffman_98 earned 1000 total points
ID: 19635596
Here is a document link that explains the different technologies and what their purposes are. Although the document title refers to IIS, this applies to most applications that support MSCS (Microsoft Cluster Server). I could repeat it all, but it's very well written out in this document. If you still have questions after reading this, please reply with more questions.

http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/WindowsServer2003/Library/IIS/2d5977cf-06b7-4d4b-8e8c-ce083ac8a6ee.mspx?mfr=true

Regarding your question about using both technologies concurrently, according to the following KB Article "Note that running these two components on the same computer is unsupported and is not recommended by Microsoft due to potential hardware sharing conflicts between Cluster service and Network Load Balancing".
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/235305/en-us
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by:Stephen Manderson
Stephen Manderson earned 1000 total points
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Network load balancing will give a single IP for multipul servers with all incoming connections split between the servers balancing the load out as equal as possible. Where as clustering would provide redundancy and more uptime. This is achived via clustering several servers of which one of them has shared resources and if it where to fail the other servers within the cluster could take over th share. So the difference between the two being NLB spluts the load up between the servers and clustering provides maximum uptime should any server fail.

Some more info.
NLB FAQ
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/windowsserver2003/technologies/clustering/nlbfaq.mspx

NLB Clusters
http://www.microsoft.com/resources/documentation/WindowsServ/2003/standard/proddocs/en-us/microsoft_WLBS.asp

Kind Regards
Steve
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