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MS NLB & F5 load balancer

Posted on 2013-06-16
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Last Modified: 2013-06-29
I have a number of about 6 Prod IIS web servers that are
are currently load-balanced using MS NLB.

However, we don't have UAT / test environment nor test
servers for these but would like to test them out.

Can I just create a separate VIP (ie separate from the NLB VIP
for the F5 LTM load balancer that points to the same group (or
perhaps only 2 ) of the webservers just for a small group of
users to access (this F5 LB/LTM VIP) for testing?

Any problem in NLB & F5 co-exist in this manner?  Any
caveats or anything I need to take note of so as not to
adversely affect production
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Question by:sunhux
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3 Comments
 
LVL 17

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by:TimotiSt
TimotiSt earned 2000 total points
ID: 39263437
I'm not sure I understand why you are using a hardware loadbalancer and NLB at the same time?
They should work together, it just seems a bit overcomplicated.

Can you post a little network diagram of your setup?

Tamas
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Author Comment

by:sunhux
ID: 39269516
I'm trying to replace NLB with F5 hardware LB but I don't have
UAT to test this F5 LB out.

So, I'm thinking of defining a VIP for the F5 LB with 2 webservers
as its members (we currently has 6 webservers in NLB) for testing
purpose.  

After some testing (perhaps you can suggest what kinds of tests, eg:
least-connection-load, session stickiness, ... , anymore ?) when we're
comfortable, we'll define all 6  webservers as members of this F5
LB & then change the DNS entry, say, current_NLB_url  to point to
the F5 LB VIP & that would migrate us from NLB to F5.

In the event of problem, we can quickly redefine in DNS to point
back to the NLB VIP as quick fallback
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LVL 17

Accepted Solution

by:
TimotiSt earned 2000 total points
ID: 39274744
If you can access the 2 testing servers with their individual IPs (not the VIP of the NLB), then you should be able to bind those to a VIP on the F5.

The balancing predictor and stickiness config depends on your application. For any kind of SSL, you'll want sticky. If you don't have session-sync between your servers in your application, you'll want sticky. If all servers have the same specs, you can do round-robin or least connection. If they're different, you might want to use some weighted predictor. Not sure exactly what's available on the F5.
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