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Network Load Balancing Host Diagram

Updated: September 1, 2003

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

Diagram 3 depicts the network-adapter configuration for each Network Load Balancing host. These hosts make up the Network Load Balancing clusters of Web servers for the Web site.


Diagram 3

This set of clusters consists of six individual Network Load Balancing clusters. Each cluster has 10 hosts. Each host in the cluster has two network adapters. The cluster adapter, or front-end adapter (labeled FE by the administrators at, is attached to the Internet. The management adapter, or back-end adapter (labeled BE by the administrators at, is attached to the Microsoft corporate network.

The FE adapter is bound to both the virtual IP address (VIP) and a unique dedicated IP address (DIP). All Internet traffic comes through the FE adapter by using the VIP. The DIP on this adapter is typically used only by ClusterSentinel, which is the cluster management and monitoring tool used by Other traffic that is intended specifically for a particular host is addressed to the BE adapter.

The BE adapter on each host has a unique static IP address and is used for cluster and host management traffic, which typically originates from the Microsoft corporate network.

For more information about the design consideration and configuration details of Network Load Balancing Cluster 1, see Reasons for Using Network Load Balancing, earlier in this document, and Configuration of the Network Load Balancing Clusters at later in this document.

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