Create a Cluster to Balance the Network Load, Part 2 - Page 2

 By Drew Bird
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All that is left to do now is add more hosts to the cluster, which is easily achieved by right-clicking the cluster in the left hand pane of NLB Manager and selecting Add Host to Cluster from the action menu. Again, dialog boxes are displayed that allow you to enter the information needed to add the host to the cluster. When you have added hosts to the cluster, they are displayed in the Host pane (top right) of the Network Load Balancing Manager utility, as shown in Figure 5.

the NLB Manager Host pane
Figure 5

As simple as the preceding explanation of creating a cluster might seem, there is really little more to the actual process than what has been described.

After the Install

Once your NLB cluster is installed and operational, you can manage it in one of two ways; by using the NLB Manager, or with the command line utility NLB.exe.

Managing the NLB cluster from within the NLB Manager will provide few surprises to anyone used to working in an MMC snap-in. Most of the actions, such as blocking traffic from a specific host, or even the entire cluster, are achieved by right clicking the host or cluster, selecting Control Hosts, and then choosing an action.

NLB.exe offers a range of options for working with clusters through short, meaningful commands
"NLB.exe offers a range of options for working with clusters through short, meaningful commands"

If you prefer to work from the command line, or want to build cluster management commands into scripts, NLB.exe offers a range of options for working with clusters through short, meaningful commands. For example, to stop the entire cluster from accepting incoming traffic, simply type NLB stop at the command prompt. There are no prizes for guessing how to start the service up again. As with most other command line utilities, typing NLB /? at the command prompt will display a complete listing of the options available for the command.

In terms of keeping an eye on the NLB service, as mentioned earlier, events related to the NLB service are recorded in the System log of Event Viewer rather than in the Log area of NLB Manager. For this reason, you should make a habit of checking the System log for any events related to the WLBS service.

After you have installed and configured your NLB cluster, further monitoring and maintenance should be at a minimum. Due to the self-configuring nature of NLB, all you should have to do is reap the rewards of increased bandwidth and fault tolerance.

This article was originally published on May 10, 2004
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