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Terminal Service Servers Load Balancing

Posted on 2007-11-30
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I have 6 win 2003 R2 servers running as terminal service servers to be accessed by users, I would like to enable load balancing between all of them so once server get overloaded the connection will be redirected to the other server.
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Question by:Ahmed Abdel Salam
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by:oBdA
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You should be able to do that with Network Load Balancing. Haven't done it this way myself, but here are some articles that might help:

Load Balancing Terminal Servers
http://technet2.microsoft.com/windowsserver/en/library/310bbd92-9d68-400c-b0d2-fff51fc886121033.mspx

Session Directory and Load Balancing Using Terminal Server
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/techinfo/overview/sessiondirectory.mspx

Network Load Balancing : Configuration Best Practices for Windows 2000 and Windows Server 2003
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/windowsserver2003/technologies/clustering/nlbbp.mspx

Network Load Balancing Frequently Asked Questions
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/windowsserver2003/technologies/clustering/nlbfaq.mspx

NLB Troubleshooting Overview for Windows® Server 2003
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=9E6F4999-AEEB-40CF-867B-AF68742FFFDC&displaylang=en
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by:stafi
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note that once a user is redirected to other server he should find there all his personal settings.
since nlb his supported in server 2003 it can be done. yet 3rd party will do a much better job.

if you want to apply microsot nlb look here:

http://www.west-wind.com/presentations/loadbalancing/NetworkLoadBalancingWindows2003.asp

there are many options for 3rd party here are two:

http://www.2x.com/loadbalancer/lbfeatures.html
http://www.propalms.com/

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Cláudio Rodrigues earned 500 total points
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NLB is a terrible idea for many reasons. First of all it does not work that well. Secondly it is not resource based what means it does not know if a TS is using 100% CPU for example. So it will send a new user to a server that should not be taking any more connections.
I wrote a couple articles and gave presentations at BriForum (http://www.briforum.com) about this particular topic.
The articles, listing each option you have and their PROs and CONs are available here:
http://www.msterminalservices.org/articles/Load-Balancing-Terminal-Services-Part1.html
http://www.msterminalservices.org/articles/Load-Balancing-Terminal-Services-Part2.html

Some third party add-ons will do that and much more (ProPalms is one of them). There are many others like Provision Networks, Jetro, Citrix, Ericom, 2X and others.
The only company that has a load balancing only product is 2X with their 2X LoadBalancer (by the way we wrote it and 2X acquired from us when they bought my company, Terminal-Services.NET). :-)

Cheers,

Claudio Rodrigues
Microsoft MVP
Windows Server - Terminal Services
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