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How To Setup Microsoft Network Load Balance Unicast Mode 2008 R2 Server (Virtual)

Posted on 2013-11-22
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Last Modified: 2014-01-02
Hi all,  I am wondering if anyone has successfully setup NLB UNICAST mode on 2008 R2 servers in a virtual envirornment?  If so, what was the trick?  Do you require 2 NIC's?  If so, does each NIC have to be on a seperate Port Group/vnic or NIC?  

If not then why won't my one NIC solution allow me to add the second host?  I can't even ping out from the first host once Unicast is enabled on Host 1.

I did add a second NIC to each host and tried that.  The NIC was actually the same port group though.  Servers get confused as to which IP is the LAN IP.  Using this config, i was able to add each nost to cluster and reach the cluster from the 2 host, but no other server or workstation could reach the cluster or the cluster IP.

Is there any configs that have to be made on the Virtual Host networking?

Any help or suggestions would be most greatly appreciated.
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Question by:Conrad_Bel
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LVL 119
ID: 39669399
VMware recommend using Multicast, and we always use Multicast when using VMware vSphere.
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by:asavener
ID: 39669404
I believe it requires a second NIC, with no default gateway on that NIC.

Additionally, the servers in the cluster have to have the other hosts added to the HOSTS file, using the IP address of the cluster communications network.

Finally, you have to configure the cluster communications NIC not to register with DNS.
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compdigit44 earned 500 total points
ID: 39676332
I have setup a SharePoint 2012 farm on Windows 2008 R2 using NLB. At the time we had Foundry switching and had to setup our VM's with two nics and use Multicast (IGMP) mode in order to get things to work correctly.

Also sometime on your switches you need to add a static reverse ARP entry as well for the NLB..
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Author Comment

by:Conrad_Bel
ID: 39676384
I've successfully set NLB on my DevNet webservers using multicast mode.  Yes, I did have to make a static ARP entry into my cisco switch.  Problem is, my network engineering group is hesitant about using multicast in our network environment.  Something about excess broadcast packets.  

That is the reason I'm trying to get Unicast Mode to work.  From the documentation I've read so far VMware recommends Multicast,  So that is already known.

I think i'm going to try two NICs again, but this time I am going to make sure that each NIC is on a seperate vswtich therefore creating two portgroups and also ensuring the NLB portgroup is setup the way VMware suggest.
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