Network Load Balancing for SharePoint 2013, Part 3: Installing Network Load Balancing on WFE1 in a Three Server Farm

When it comes to SharePoint, it is not uncommon for most companies to use a single farm for sharing information amongst its users. While this makes installation convenient, it can severely slow down access as well as increase your vulnerability to risk.

In order to mitigate the negative effects, you can install multiple Web Front-end (WFE) servers and a Network Load Balancer (NLB) to distribute requests and increase reliability through redundancy. With these risk mitigation measures in place, if a WFE server fails, the NLB can distribute requests to other WFE servers.

In parts three and four of our new series on Network Load Balancing, we’ll show you how to install Network Load Balancing on a farm with three servers as follows:

  • Server 1: MS SQL Server 2008 R2
  • Server 2: Web Front End #1 (WFE1)
  • Server 3: Web Front End #2 (WFE2)

Here in part three, we’ll start with installing Network Load Balancing on WFE1.

Before you begin, make sure that each server in the farm is using a static IP address. Do NOT use DHCP.

On WFE1, go to Administrative Tools and select Network Load Balancing Manager.

In Network Load Balancing Manager, right-click Network Load Balancing Clusters and select New Cluster.

In the New Cluster window, enter the WFE1 server name into the Host text box and click Connect.

In this example, I have entered the server name chauo151.

After you have successfully connected, the available Interface names and Interface IPs will be displayed. Select the Interface where you will be configuring the new cluster and click Next.

In the New Cluster: Host Parameters window, input the following:

  • Priority drop-down menu: Select 1
  • Default state drop-down menu: Select Started

Click Next.

In the New Cluster: Cluster IP Addresses window, click Add.

Next, you will need to set the parameters for your new cluster.  To begin, in the Add IP Address window, select the radio button Add IPv4 address, and pick an address that has not been used yet. Once finished, click OK.

Click Next.

Next, you will need to input your Full Internet Name.   You will need to use a name that is different from your server name. In the example below, we have used the following name: LoadBalancing.chau.local

Accordingly,  http://LoadBalancing.chau.local  will be used in Alternate Access Mapping in SharePoint (we’ll dive into this is more detail in part five).

Under Cluster Operation Mode, select the Multi Cast option and click Next.

Click Finish.

In the Network Load Balancing Manager window, you will see the WFE1 server name listed.

Want to learn more about Network Load Balancing and how you can load balance Web traffic in order to increase the availability and reliability of your SharePoint solution?  If so, check out the rest of our series:

re: Network Load Balancing for SharePoint 2013, Part 3: Installing Network Load Balancing on WFE1 in a Three Server Farm
on Wed, Mar 4 2015 11:24 AM

My client requirement is to install 2 WFEs in an NLB cluster and 2 DB servers in 2 node Failover cluster.  These are my queries:

1) Can I Configure Central Admin and all other things on both WFEs? (I don’t have a separate application tier)

2) In SQL Server 2012 Standard Edition AlwaysOn Failover cluster configuration, do we need external storage ?

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