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Help with Microsoft Network Load Balancing Setup in Server 2008 R2 NIC Setup Virtual Machines

I am in the process of setting up MS NLB on a IIS server which are both 2008 R2.  Both servers a virtual servers (ESXi 5.0).  I have set up NLB using a dedicated IP on both servers and using the IGMP Multicast.  I have tested and the setup works on my developement network.  Of course I had to add static ARP entry into my switch.  My current nic setup is as follows:

Server 1 NIC 1 = IP 10.0.0.1
Server 2 NIC 1 = IP 10.0.0.2

I configured the cluster and added the cluster IP of 10.0.0.3.  Is this how it should be designed?  Should the Cluster IP be on the same NIC's as my dedicated IP?

Do I need a second NIC on each server for heartbeat messages?  

If so, is it best practice to set the second NICs up with a private non routable IP on both servers e.g. 192.168.1.1 or something simular?  

What happens if I need the heartbeat NIC and I don't assign it?  Will NLB fail?
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Conrad_Bel
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Conrad_Bel
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1 Solution
 
Peter HutchisonSenior Network Systems SpecialistCommented:
1. Yes, each server will havew its own unique IP address.
2. Yes,T te Cluster IP should be added to the TCPIP v4 properties on each server.
3. It is a good idea for a private non-routable IP on 2nd nics. Although, we have had NLBs without a heartbeat network.
4. Also, in NLB you can configure which protocols are Load balanced, such as port 80 and 443 for Web servers. By default all TCP ports are load balanced, which is not really necessary.
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Conrad_BelAuthor Commented:
SO my current setup is correct then in which the Cluster (VirtualIP) is using the same NIC and IP range of my Dedicated NICS?
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Peter HutchisonSenior Network Systems SpecialistCommented:
Yes, that is correct.
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Conrad_BelAuthor Commented:
Thank you very much for your quick responses and excelent help.
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