IIS Failover cluster

We have created a PCI environment with 2 x SQL servers (2014) and 2 x IIS servers (Server 2014) as a start.  This is a Hyper-V two Host setup.  We are configured with shared storage and shared configuration for IIS and when we fail over we see the mounted drives move to the other server just as it should.  What is failing for us is the start of the IIS service side of things.  If i start it manually it works great.  If i reboot this server and the other comes online and a start its IIS service then all is good.  But i have to manually start it.
I though i understood that the "VM Monitoring" tool would be what I needed to get IIS running, i have indeed configured it to run the "World Wide Web Publishing Service" and also as a test to the "PrintSpooler" on both IIS servers.  The service never gets started.  If stop the print spooler it never gets restarted.

The first thing i would like to know is how to troubleshoot what is going on and where to look.  The second thing i would like is to get the IIS service going on failover.

Thanks Jon.
Who is Participating?

[Product update] Infrastructure Analysis Tool is now available with Business Accounts.Learn More

I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Emmanuel AdebayoGlobal Windows Infrastructure Engineer - ConsultantCommented:
There is not to troubleshoot that's by design how IIS cluster works.

You have to start the service manually, otherwise you will need to write a scrit that will do this for you automatically.

See the articles for more info


JonChardAuthor Commented:
I will look in the morning - thank you.
Dan McFaddenSystems EngineerCommented:
Just a word of warning... Clustering IIS (though doable with a bit of a hack as the article explains) is not a recommended method for making IIS highly available.

You will notice that the article mentions NLB or some means of load balancing should be investigated and is recommended.  In the paragraph after the NOTE at the start of the article.

Microsoft recommends administrators carefully evaluate the use of Network Load Balancing (NLB) as the primary and preferred method for improving the scalability and availability of Web applications with multiple servers running IIS 7.5 or IIS 7.0, as opposed to using failover clustering. One of the benefits of NLB is that all servers can actively participate in the simultaneous handling of incoming HTTP requests. Another benefit is that in an NLB IIS environment, it can be much easier to support rolling updates and rollbacks while still providing high availability of Web applications. For more information about using IIS 7.5 or IIS 7.0 in an NLB environment, see the following Microsoft Web sites...

With that said, I would recommend placing some sort of load balancer in front of the IIS server... not clustering them.  Clustering IIS does not provide you with any scale out ability.  If the load on the website starts putting pressure on the IIS nodes, your only option is to purchase new hardware and do an inline cluster node swap or build out a new cluster and migrate the clustered services.

In a load balanced situation (depending on the design & functionality of the site), you just add another server to web farm and balance the load across more nodes.

In the clustered variant, you will need to buy more expensive hardware to keep pace with the pressure on the server.  Your costs are higher since you will have to run in an Active/Passive config.  Meaning the failover node, does nothing but consume power while waiting for a failover event to occur.  Basically, your costs are doubled when running in this mode.

With load balancing, you purchase several less expensive servers and spread out the load across these commodity devices.  Here, your hardware costs are not wasted (IMO) on an idle IIS server.  The application load is placed on all servers in the web farm.  There are also potential OS licensing cost savings since you can use Server Standard not Enterprise.

There are also operational advantages to using load balancing verse a cluster.

In a cluster, to service the active node, you must incur downtime to perform a role/service migration.  Meaning there will always be a 1-5 minute outage during the process of swapping the active and passive nodes.

In a load balanced web farm, you tell the load balancers to stop sending (drain) requests to a specific node. This process allows existing service activity and requests to be fulfilled by the node to be serviced but prevents incoming traffic from landing on this specific node.  There is no perceived service interruption on the web application, the traffic is just shifted to other nodes in the farm (depending on the functionality of the application).

Meaning, technically... a load balanced web farm supporting 1 or more websites will potentially have greater availability than a clustered IIS instance supporting the same configuration.


Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
JonChardAuthor Commented:
Thanks both it is much appreciated.  Comments with thought behind them is what makes this community so amazing.
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Web Servers

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.