Network Load Balancing Configuration
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Network Load Balancing Configuration Windows Server 2022

Let’s have a look at the Network Load Balancing configuration in Windows Server 2022. We can use NLB (Network Load Balancing) to manage 2 or more servers as a single virtual cluster.

Applications and Services that are pretentious by high load need technologies to address this issue. NLB is a technology that permits system administrators to configure clusters that divide the traffic between a number of servers. Assume we have a website that gains a large number of requests and can’t be presumed by one server. In this case, we need to configure a Network Load Balancing cluster to distribute traffic across various web servers and thus ensuring that the website can serve all requests.

What is NLB in Windows Server?

The Network Load Balancing divides traffic across various servers by using the TCP/IP networking protocol. Combining two or more systems that are running applications into a single virtual cluster, Network Load Balance provides performance and reliability for web servers and other all-important servers.

Tables of Contents

NLB Servers Detail’s

Enable Network Load Balancing GUI

Install Network Load Balancing PowerShell

Create a New Cluster

Add Host to Cluster

Verifying Network Load Balancing Configuration

NLB Servers Detail’s

In this NLB test lab, I am using a virtual test lab created in VMware Workstation. Download VMware Workstation

NameDescriptionsIP Address
WS2022-DCDNS and Domain Controller192.168.241.100
WS2022-01Member Server192.168.241.102
WS2022-02Member Server192.168.241.104
Network Load Balance IP Address 192.168.241.100

Enable Network Load Balancing GUI

Open server manager and then click on “Add roles and features”.

Server manager 2022

Then click next

Add roles and features wizard

Click next

Select installation type

Select the server you want to configure Network Load Balancing and then click next.

Select server from pool

Check the WEB Server (IIS) roles checkbox.

Enable Web server IIS roles

Click add features

Add features that are required

After installing Web Server (IIS) role, click next.

Enable Web server IIS role

Tick the Network Load Balancing checkbox.

Enable Network load balancing

Click add features

Add features that are required

Enable Network Load Balancing feature done, click next.

Install Network load balancing

Click next

Web server role IIS

Click next

Select role services

Click install to install the network load balancer.

Confirm Network Load Balancing installation

Click close

View installation progress NLB

Install Network Load Balancing PowerShell

Enable Network Load Balancing using PowerShell command, type the below command, and then hit enter.

Install-windowsfeature NLB,RSAT-NLB

Install network load balancing PowerShell

Install-WindowsFeature -name Web-Server –IncludeManagementTools

Install IIS PowerShell

Configuring Network Load Balance in Windows Server 2022. After installing the Network Load Balancing feature on all the involving NLB nodes, the next step is to configure Network Load Balancing.

Create a New Cluster

On the Server Manager window of the WS2022-01 NLB node
Select the Tools menu and then choose Network Load Balancing Manager.

Server Manager Tools

Right-click on Network Load Balancing Clusters and then select New Cluster

Network Load Balancing Manager

On the New Cluster window, in the host field, type WS2022-01.xpertstec.local (or IP Address) and then click Connect. Now you can verify that the Interface name is listed and then click next.

Add host to cluster NLB

New Cluster host parameters, set the “Priority” (unique host identifier) value 1. This node will reply to the client’s queries, first, make sure that the default status has been set as “Started” and then click Next.

Network load balancing host priority

To add a new Cluster IP address, click the Add button.

NLB cluster IP addresses

Note: The Cluster IP address is the new virtual IP address on which the host service, through this case, IIS will run.
Enter the Cluster IP Address such as 192.168.241.110 and then click ok.

Network load balancing add IP address

Click Next

NLB new cluster IP address

Select a cluster operation mode, “Unicast” and then click Next.

Network load balancing cluster parameters

Click Finish

New cluster port rules

Please wait until the WS2022-01 NLB node is added successfully. The Icon Color of the added NLB node must be green.

Network load balancing manager

Add Host to Cluster

Right-click on the Cluster name and then click on Add Host to Cluster.

Add host to cluster NLB

Add host to cluster connect dialog box, type WS2022-02, and then select Connect button to add one more NLB node. Click next.

Add host to cluster connect

On the Add Host to Cluster window, “Host Parameters” set the “Priority” value as 2 and then proceed to next.

Add host to cluster host parameters

Click Finish

Add host to cluster port rules

Now, verify that the 2nd NLB node WS2022-02 is added successfully.

Network load balancing manager hosts

Verify Network Load Balancing Configuration

To verify that the NLB Cluster is successfully configured and functioning properly, perform the subsequent steps.
Open Edge brewer type 192.168.241.110 and then verify that you simply are ready to access the Default Webs.

Test network load balancing IIS

Close the Microsoft Edge browser on the node.
Open the Network Load Balancing Manager, select 1st node and right-click WS2022-01(Ethernet), select Control Host, and then click on the stop option to stop this node temporarily.

Network load balancing manager

Now switch back to WS2022-DC and try again to open your Default Website. The Default Website must still be displayed. However, this time, the WS2022-02 NLB node will serve the Website.

IIS website in browser

Written by Jamil Parvez

Jamil Pervez works as a Network Administrator, based in Kuwait with a Primary focus on Microsoft technologies. Microsoft Certified MCSE, MCTP, MCITP, CCNP, CCIP, CCVP with 20 years of experience in administering Windows Servers, Exchange, VMWare, Veeam B&R, Veritas BackupExec.

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