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Network Load Balancing. Dual Nics over a WAN. Team or not to team?

Posted on 2008-06-16
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Last Modified: 2012-05-05
Hey all.

I'm setting up NLB on a windows 2008 standard edition server running IIS7 (among other things of course).  I have a cluster already set up in a virtual environment using one nic per server and multicast mode.  I'm now ready to move this into production and have a beefy machine that has two NICs in it.

I've read several articles about unicast versus multicast...but nothing really for my exact problem.  We have two offices hooked together by a WAN. I'd like to set up a web server at each location using NLB so that if one site's internet connection goes down, the other server will continue to serve up my web page.

At each location, other servers with dual nics are teamed up and plugged into seperate gigabyte switches to ensure connectivity if one switch dies.  

I'm now stumped as to if I should configure each server in the NLB cluster to use teaming (and split their connection across switches) and Multicast mode, or use one NIC with Unicast.  If I go for the latter, if that connection's switch dies, I have to rely on NLB to relay the new requests to the new server even though this server still has one nic plugged into a good switch.

Can anyone offer any advice?
Thank you,
Sean
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Question by:funehmon
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tigermatt earned 600 total points
ID: 21795104
It all depends on what functionality you need as a result of whether you team (or not) your NICs. If you didn't have the other site to act as a failover, then I would definitely be teaming the NICs to different switches in order to have at least some element of resilience in your system and setup.

The fact you have a cluster available just adds to complicate matters, but if I were doing it and had all the hardware and network infrastructure already in place and ready to go, I wouldn't see any harm in teaming the NICs on this new server. All it can do really is add to the resilience in an already resilient system.

-tigermatt
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