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Preparing to Implement the Cluster

Updated: March 28, 2003

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

Your new cluster is dependent upon the network infrastructure and other network services in your total solution. Ensure that these network infrastructure and other network services are deployed prior to implementing your cluster.

Prepare for the implementation of the new cluster by using the information documented in the "NLB Cluster Host Worksheet" and other documentation (such as Visio drawings of the network environment) that your design team completed for a specific cluster host during the design process. Coordinate with the operations team during this step in the process to review the changes that will occur in your organization’s network environment.

To prepare for the implementation of the new cluster, complete the following tasks:

  1. Implement the network infrastructure required by the cluster and by the applications and services running on the cluster.

  2. Implement any networking services required by the applications and services running on the cluster.

  3. Select the method for automating any additional Network Load Balancing configuration.

Implementing the Network Infrastructure

Before you implement the cluster, you must implement the network infrastructure that connects the cluster to client computers, to other servers within your organization, and to management consoles. The network infrastructure components include:

  • Network cables

  • Hubs

  • Switches

  • Routers

  • Firewalls


  • Any references to switches in this chapter refer to Layer 2 switches.

When implementing the network infrastructure, make sure to have specifications about your current network environment available. Specifically, your hardware and software inventory and a map of network topology can be helpful. For more information about creating those documents, see "Planning for Deployment in Planning, Testing, and Piloting Deployment Projects of this kit.

Implementing Any Required Networking Services

Network Load Balancing is independent of the other Windows Server 2003 network services. As a result, you do not need to implement networking services for Network Load Balancing.

However, the applications and services running on the cluster can be dependent on other Windows Server 2003 networking services. For more information about requirements for implementing networking services used by the services and applications running on the cluster, see "Additional Resources for Deploying Network Load Balancing" later in this chapter.

Automating Additional Configurations

In many instances, it is possible that Windows Server 2003, Network Load Balancing, or the applications and services running on a particular cluster might require additional configuration after the installation is complete. You can use any combination of the following methods for automating these additional configurations:

  • Microsoft Visual Basic Scripting Edition (VBScript)

  • Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI)

  • Active Directory Service Interfaces (ADSI)

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