Overview of the NLB Design Process
Updated: March 28, 2003
Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2
Improving availability and scalability in your solution depends on the applications and services in your organization. A computer running the Microsoft® Windows® Server 2003 operating system can provide a high level of reliability and scalable performance. However, a Network Load Balancing cluster can achieve the higher levels of availability and performance required by mission-critical servers.
A Network Load Balancing cluster comprises multiple servers running any version of the Windows Server 2003 family, including the Microsoft® Windows® Server 2003, Standard Edition; Windows® Server 2003, Enterprise Edition; Windows® Server 2003, Datacenter Edition; and Windows® Server 2003, Web Edition operating systems. The servers are combined to provide greater scalability and availability than is possible with an individual server. Network Load Balancing distributes client requests across the servers to improve scalability. If a server fails, client requests are redistributed to the remaining servers to improve availability. Network Load Balancing can improve scalability and availability for applications and services that communicate with clients that use Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) or User Datagram Protocol (UDP).
The Network Load Balancing design process assumes that you are creating new clusters or that you are redesigning existing Windows Load Balancing Service (WLBS) or Network Load Balancing clusters. Upon completion of the Network Load Balancing design process, you will have a solution that meets or exceeds your scalability and availability requirements.
For a list of additional information to assist you in designing Network Load Balancing clusters, see "Additional Resources for Deploying Network Load Balancing" later in this chapter.