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Load balancing DirectAccess

Posted on 2015-01-02
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Last Modified: 2016-10-25
Hi,

I currently have a DirectAccess server set up with a single NIC and am looking to set up another server so that this can be load balanced. We are currently using a Citrix Netscaler and will not be using the WIndows NLB for load balancing.

I have found some good articles on how to do this (see below) but I have a questions about the IP addresses:

http://blogs.technet.com/b/mspfe/archive/2013/01/24/how-to-configure-directaccess-in-windows-server-2012-to-work-with-an-external-hardware-load-balancer.aspx

As part of the load balancing setup you assign a new dedicated IP and the server's previous IP address becomes the virtual IP for the cluster. I'm confused as to how this is load balanced though. Will my rule on the Netscaler still point to the original IP address or and the servers will do the load balancing themselves or do I need to add both the servers IP addresses to the Netscaler? Having this setup does it do load balancing or HA ie. if one of the DA servers goes down will the other one take all the traffic?
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Question by:southwestsixteen
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by:Mohammed Khawaja
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It depends on how you setup your load-balancer.  You could configure it to use round-robin where incoming connections are split across both servers or least connection method which ensures to distribute the load fairly.  You should also enable persistence to ensure a new connection from a client will be established to the server which already has an existing connection for that client.
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by:southwestsixteen
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Hi Mohammed, thanks for the reply and for the advice. To clarify, in running the DA load balancing wizard I'll be left with the 2 x dedicated IP addresses for the servers and a virtual IP for the cluster. Which addresses should I be telling the Netscaler to forward connections to? If it's just the IP addresses of the servers then what's the point of running the load balancing wizard and it creating a virtual IP? This is the part that has been bugging me and I can't seem to find any definitive answers online.
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Dave earned 500 total points
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The Netscaler should listen on the virtual IP for the cluster and forward to the IP addresses of the cluster.

The Virtual IP ensures you don't need to make changes to the DNS and certificates.

The definitive answer is in the Microsoft TechNet Blog :-

http://blogs.technet.com/b/mspfe/archive/2013/01/24/how-to-configure-directaccess-in-windows-server-2012-to-work-with-an-external-hardware-load-balancer.aspx

wich says:-

4) The wizard will ask for a new dedicated IP address for Node 1. The existing dedicated IP address will be used as the virtual IP address of the load balancer to avoid requiring any DNS changes as a result of this process

Sadly the Microsoft TechNet Blogs are becoming the definitive source for information rather than the actual product reference area of TechNet.
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