How should I complete my load balancing solution ?

I got 2 servers running IIS 5 under Windows 2000 Server. Everything is working fine. But I'd like in the future to add a load balancing service.

I've found a couple of documentation on the subject so far. But I was wondering how others are doing it with a website using ASP and ASP.NET, in order to keep the session active on the same server all the time ?

from what I've found so far, I would be better with Windows 2003 and IIS6. Do I need anything else other than that to complete my load balancing ? Should I plan anything else ? Or is there any other solution that would be better than Windows 2003 ? Maybe a hardware load balancing, I saw one based on a linux distribution that does that. All I would need is another machine that can handle the web traffic. basically it would do a proxy of some sort.
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skatsevConnect With a Mentor Commented:

Another one that I have a lot of experience with is Coyote Point:

They have several tiers of load balancers, so for a "simple" load balancing approach like what you're trying to do, you might want to look at the lowest-end of their models.

However, the "level" of load balancing that you need doesn't necessarily depend on the amount of traffic (or in this case, the number of servers) but rather on the application intelligence that your setup needs.

For example, the two main types of persistence (since that's the requirement that you listed) are IP persistence and Cookie persistence.  The first means that the load balancer will simply keep a table of all of the client IP addresses, and if a client comes back within "X" seconds, they will be sent to the same server.  Of course, this means that if you have a lot of traffic, this table can get rather large and use up load balancer resources.  The other approach (cookie persistence) requires application knowledge.  In this case, the application is HTTP (or HTTPS), and the load balancer would inject a cookie into the HTTP stream (transparent to your servers and to the client).  When the client comes back to the web page, the load balancer will see this cookie and send them back to the correct server.

In my experience, this is actually the main differentiator between whether you need a "simple" load balancer, or something a bit more complex.  Figure out the answer to that question and you'll have a better idea of what you're looking for :)
msguruConnect With a Mentor Commented:
I've used the Zeus Balancer - see .  It's easy to use with very good tech support.  Can either be 'appliance' or a Linux (and now Windows) install.
Also, F5 Big-IP load balancer - see .  
Both will support session persistance.

Best of luck!
reseautelmatikAuthor Commented:
That seems nice, but it seems to be aimed at company with more than 4 servers ?
That's what i actually saw in the documents. But maybe it was just an example. Anyone knows some open source solution too maybe so that I can compare ? or any other solutions similar ?

msguru, is that the only solution that you've looked at when you investigated the load balancing thing ?

msguruConnect With a Mentor Commented:
On top of Zeus and F5, I've used INKRA - but this one doen't exist anymore.
Check out - it shows a few:-
Linux Virtual Server -
HAProxy -
Balance -
Pound -

Be aware, some are experimental and may not be stable - but they are free!
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