Network Load Balancing (NLB) is commonly utilized with Web Applications and SharePoint deployments to load balance the web traffic across multiple servers and to increase the availability of the solution. The most common SharePoint 2007 deployment is the 5-server farm which includes 2 SharePoint Front End servers that are load balanced.

Load balancing web servers can happen through different options using hardware and software, and Windows 2008 NLB is one of these options.

WFE1: First Web Server

WFE2: Second Web Server

Following is a step by step guide on how to deploy and configure a load balancing cluster:

1.       Installing Network Load balancing tool

a)      On the first web server (WFE1) , open Server Manager from Administration tools

b)      Left click on Features and the Left click on Add Feature

c)       Select Network Load Balancing and click next and then Install to finish the wizard

d)      Repeat these steps on the second web server (WFE2).

2.       Launch  Network Load balancing Manager from All Programs – Administrative Tools on WFE1

a)      In the manager Right Click on Network Load Balancer Cluster and Click New Cluster

b)      Enter IP address of first server to be in the cluster. Click connect and choose the network card that is connected to the domain

c)       Leave defaults and click Next

d)      Click Add. Enter Virtual IP address and subnet mask for your NLB Cluster (Note that this is the new IP that you want to be assigned to your cluster)

e)      Click Next

f)       Enter internet name. Choose Unicast if you have multiple network adapters or multicast if you have single network adapter on your webserver.

g)      On Port Rules page, delete existing rule can click add to create a new rule

h)      Set the Rule to Port 80 using Both UDP & TCP Protocols. Note to set the affinity to single. Click OK. Click Finish.

i)        Once complete, you will see a green background icon next to server name

j)        Now we will add the second web server to the cluster. Right click on domain name and select ‘Add host to cluster’

k)      Enter IP address of second web server to be added to the cluster. Click connect and choose the network card that is connected to the domain.

l)        Accept defaults and click next.

m)    Click finish and wait till the second server converges

 

Now you have the servers network load balanced and can create a DNS entry that points to your NLB IP