Updated: November 25, 2009
Applies To: Windows Server 2008 R2
Network Load Balancing (NLB) enhances the availability and scalability of Internet server applications such as those used on Web, FTP, firewall, proxy, virtual private network (VPN), and other mission-critical servers. A single computer provides a limited level of server reliability and scalable performance. However, by combining the resources of two or more computers into a single virtual cluster, NLB can deliver the reliability and performance that Web servers and other mission-critical servers need.
Hierarchy of Managed Entities
Each Network Load Balancing (NLB) host runs a separate copy of the desired server applications (such as applications for Web, FTP, and Telnet servers). NLB distributes incoming client requests across the hosts in the cluster. The load weight to be handled by each host can be configured as necessary. You can also add hosts dynamically to the cluster to handle increased load. In addition, NLB can direct all traffic to a designated single host, which is called the default host.
The network adapter handles the network traffic for Network Load Balancing (NLB) cluster operations (the traffic for all hosts in the cluster).