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Managing a Web Farm - Windows updates

Posted on 2012-03-14
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Last Modified: 2012-06-21
Hi Experts,

I hope you can help with this.

We presently host a number of web servers. All machines are Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 Standard Edition. These servers are identical with their web pages and point to the same date source. They are managed by kemp load balancers in a web farm so that machines can be taken down individually without an interruption of service. They are not a member of any domain, but point to a WSUS server on the LAN that is a member of a domain

The problem we are faced with is to do with windows updates. We re finding it takes alot of manual man power to monitor a machine so that all connections are drained. take it out of the farm, update it, reboot it, then put it back in the farm.

Is anyone aware of a quicker, easier, more automated method of managing windows updates in a web farm?
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Question by:FSIFM
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4 Comments
 
LVL 24

Expert Comment

by:Dirk Kotte
ID: 37721677
is it realy a problem for the user to restablish the session (shop or something else)?
if not - shutdown the IIS (now the LB should distribute the users to the other devices) and install the updates with reboot.

else: how do you drain the sessions? possible this can be done by a script?
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LVL 4

Author Comment

by:FSIFM
ID: 37724097
Unfortunately yes, we need to have 0 down time from the customers perspective
Its true we could let the sessions drain out, but is there an automated way to update them in a smart manor?

We re gonna end up with hundred of web servers so automation would be ideal.
Also the other problem we have is all of the web servers will use dot net and so im worried about sites going down as windows update the dot net frame work as well
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LVL 1

Accepted Solution

by:
snoopscratchy earned 2000 total points
ID: 37862467
Hello,

I think you could have a look at a tool I developped named vbWSUS and available here : http://sourceforge.net/projects/vbwsus/

Then you would have to edit vbWSUS_SearchDownloadInstall.vbs and do the following modification to gracefully stop IIS.
Just after :
'
' /MAIN::PARSE_ARGS
'

Open in new window

Add
' wait 5 minutes before forcing iis stop
objShell.Run "iireset stop /noforce /timeout:300", runHIDE_WINDOW, runWAIT_ON_RETURN 

Open in new window



Then with vbWSUS_scheduler.vbs, you can schedule each server to install and reboot on a specified date, each host can have its own schedule.
You can check conf/serverlist.csv.sample and README.txt for the detailed syntax and all the configurable options available in conf/vbWSUS.conf.

Tell me if this works for you ! If you need help to set it up, you can contact me anytime !
0
 
LVL 4

Author Closing Comment

by:FSIFM
ID: 37864525
Cheers mate, that looks excellent :)
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