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How to Configure Network Load Balancing for Configuration Manager Site Systems

Updated: July 1, 2010

Applies To: System Center Configuration Manager 2007, System Center Configuration Manager 2007 R2, System Center Configuration Manager 2007 R3, System Center Configuration Manager 2007 SP1, System Center Configuration Manager 2007 SP2

Network Load Balancing (NLB) clusters provide scalability in Configuration Manager 2007 so that you can support more than 25,000 clients at one site.

Windows Server Network Load Balancing distributes client requests across a set of servers and supports up to 32 computers running Windows Server in a single cluster. When Network Load Balancing is installed as a network driver on each of the member servers (hosts) in a cluster, the cluster presents a virtual IP address or fully qualified domain name (FQDN) to client requests. The initial client requests go to all the hosts in the cluster, but only one host accepts and handles the request.

All service pack levels of Configuration Manager 2007 support using NLB clusters for the following site system roles:

  • Management point

  • Software update point

  • Server locator point

Each host in a NLB cluster must meet the supported configuration requirements for site systems of the Configuration Manager service pack level in use. Configuration Manager 2007 supports use of NLB clusters on the following operating systems:

  • Windows Server 2008

  • Windows Server 2008 R2

  • Windows Server 2003

  • Windows Server 2003 R2

Use the following information on this page to configure NLB clusters for Configuration Manager:

Planning for NLB Clusters in Configuration Manager

All computers that will be part of a NLB cluster for Configuration Manager have the following requirements:

  • All computers in the NLB cluster must be in the same domain.

  • Each computer in the NLB cluster must use a static IP address.

  • Each computer in the NLB cluster must have Network Load Balancing enabled.

  • In a native mode site, the NLB cluster must be configured for a FQDN.

  • The NLB cluster requires a static IP address.

Configure Windows Server Computers as Members of a NLB Cluster

Although the exact steps to configure a Windows Server as part of a NLB cluster depend upon the Windows Server version in use, all versions have the following configuration requirements:

  • The Cluster operation mode must be set to Unicast.

  • In a Configuration Manager 2007 native mode site, the NLB cluster requires a FQDN.

  • You must manually register the NLB cluster name in DNS by using a host (A) or (AAAA) record because DNS does not automatically register static IP addresses.

To configure the NLB cluster for Configuration Manager, see the following guidance for the Windows Server operating system in use.

  • To configure NLB clusters on Windows Server 2008, see Creating Network Load Balancing Clusters (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=197176) in the Windows Server 2008 TechNet library.

  • To configure NLB clusters on Windows Server 2008 R2, see Creating Network Load Balancing Clusters (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=197177) in the Windows Server 2008 R2 TechNet library.

  • To configure NLB clusters on Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2003 R2, use the following procedure to implement Network Load Balancing for Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2003 R2 Configuration Manager 2007 site systems.

To configure Network Load Balancing for Configuration Manager site system computers using NLB.exe on Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2003 R2

  1. Click Start, click All Programs, click Administrative Tools, and then click Network Load Balancing Manager.

  2. On the menu bar, click Cluster, and then click New to open the Cluster Parameters dialog box.

  3. In the Cluster Parameters dialog box, enter the information for the Network Load Balancing cluster IP configuration:

    • IP address: NLB cluster IP address registered in DNS

    • Subnet mask: NLB cluster IP address subnet mask registered in DNS

    • Full Internet name: FQDN of NLB cluster name registered in DNS

  4. Ensure Unicast is selected in Cluster operation mode and then click Next.

  5. On the Cluster IP Addresses page, click Next.

  6. On the Port Rules page, click Edit to define the ports that the NLB cluster will respond to, and configure the ports used for client to site system communication defined for the site, or click Next to enable the NLB cluster IP address to respond to all TCP/IP ports.

    noteNote
    Ensure that Affinity is set to Single.

  7. On the Connect page, enter a site system host name that will be part of the NLB cluster in Host, and then click Connect.

  8. In Interfaces available for configuring a new cluster, select the networking interface that will be configured to respond to NLB cluster communication, and then click Next.

  9. On the Host Parameters page, review the information displayed to ensure that the Dedicated IP configuration settings display the dedicated host IP configuration for the correct NLB cluster host, the Initial host state Default state: is Started, and then click Finish.

    noteNote
    The Host Parameters page also displays the NLB cluster host priority (1-32). As new hosts are added to the NLB cluster, the host priority must differ from the previously added hosts. The priority is automatically incremented when using the Network Load Balancing Manager.

  10. Click <NLB cluster name> and ensure that the NLB host interface Status displays Converged before continuing. This step might require refreshing the NLB cluster display as the host TCP/IP configuration is being modified by Network Load Balancing Manager.

  11. To add additional hosts to the NLB cluster, right-click <NLB cluster name>, click Add Host to Cluster, and then repeat steps 7 through 10 for each site system that will be part of the NLB cluster.

Install the Site System Role on NLB Cluster Members

After you have configured the NLB cluster, you must install the Configuration Manager site system role on each computer (host) in the NLB cluster. Ensure that the site system roles are installed and functioning correctly before you continue.

For more information about adding site system roles to Configuration Manager 2007 site systems, see How to Add New Site System Roles.

Configure NLB Management Points in Mixed Mode Sites for Client Approval

When your site is operating in mixed mode, and you are using automatic client approval, the following additional configuration is required:

  • Create an Internet Information Services (IIS) application pool service account in Active Directory Domain Services and register a Service Principal Name (SPN) for the account.

  • Configure this account to run the CCM Windows Auth Server Framework Pool in Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager on each management point that is configured as part of the Network Load Balancing cluster.

ImportantImportant
This additional configuration is unnecessary for sites configured to operate in native mode. In native mode, use SSL certificates for client authentication. Configuring an application pool service account SPN in Active Directory Domain Services is not required.

For more information about configuring and registering an SPN for the IIS application pool for Configuration Manager management point site systems configured in an NLB cluster, see How to Configure an SPN for NLB Management Point Site Systems.

After the SPN for the IIS application pool is registered in Active Directory Domain Services, you must configure each computer in the NLB cluster to use this account.

To configure the IIS application pool service account for management point site systems configured in Network Load Balancing clusters

  1. Click Start, click All Programs, click Administrative Tools, and then click Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager to open the Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager console.

  2. Expand <computer name>, expand Application Pools, right-click CCM Windows Auth Server Framework Pool, and then click Properties.

  3. In the CCM Windows Auth Server Framework Pool Properties, click the Identity tab.

  4. Select Configurable and enter the application pool service account User name and Password information, and then click OK. In the Confirm Password dialog box, confirm the application pool service account password.

Configure NLB Management Points and NLB Software Update Points in Native Mode Sites

When you configure Network Load Balancing for Configuration Manager management points or software update points for sites that are in native mode, verify that the certificates are configured correctly. Each member server in the NLB cluster must have a public key infrastructure (PKI) certificate that contains both the FQDN of the NLB site system and the site system server name. For more information, refer to the certificate requirements listed in the section "Network Load Balancing Management Points or Network Load Balancing Software Update Points" in Certificate Requirements for Native Mode.

Designate the NLB Cluster for Configuration Manager

You must specify the Network Load Balanced management points and software update points in the Configuration Manager console.

ImportantImportant
For management points on NLB clusters in mixed mode sites, you must complete the configuration of the IIS application pool on each NLB cluster member before you proceed with the following configuration.

To specify the NLB management points and software update points in Configuration Manager

  1. In the Configuration Manager console, navigate to System Center Configuration Manager / Site Database / Site Management / <site code> - <site name> / Site Settings / Component Configuration.

  2. Right-click either Management Point Component or Software Update Point Component, and then click Properties.

  3. On the General tab, select the option to use Network Load Balancing clusters and then configure the IP address or FQDN of the virtual server hosting the Network Load Balancing cluster.

Server locator point site systems configured as Network Load Balancing clusters are not defined in the Configuration Manager console. Instead, specify the server locator point NLB during client installation by using the /SMSSLP=<server locator point NLB cluster name> command-line option.

If you use WINS, you must manually add the site system information to WINS. For information about manually adding Configuration Manager site information to WINS, see How to Manually Add Configuration Manager Site Information to WINS.

See Also

For additional information, see Configuration Manager 2007 Information and Support.
To contact the documentation team, email SMSdocs@microsoft.com.
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