Wednesday, January 21, 2015

SharePoint 2013: How to implement NLB


This posting walks through the necessary steps for implementing Windows Server 2012 network load balancing with respect to an internal SharePoint 2013 farm hosted on Hyper-V. A unicast configuration will be implemented. Encrypted communication is not used. NLB will be implemented in four stages:
  1. Identify all relevant network information.
  2. Install/verify NLB feature on WFEs.
  3. Configure NLB.
  4. Restart WFEs.
  1. Identify Relevant Network Information (note this information down for later reference):
    1. Assigned name of the website
    2. Assigned IP address and subnet mask of the website (AKA the cluster IP address and subnet mask) - be sure to verify this with your NOC
    3. External IPs, subnet masks and network addressesfor each WFE
    4. Determination of whether you will be using unicast or multicast cluster operation
  2. Install/Verify NLB Feature on WFEs
    1. Verify NLB feature installation
    2. If not installed, install it. Use the Add Roles and Features Wizard to install, as it will automatically include other necessary features.
  3. Configure NLB
    1. Using an account that is a member of the local Administrators group, log into the WFE that you want to use as the primary cluster member.
    2. Launch the Network Load Balancing Manager. The Network Load Balancing Manager GUI appears.
    3. Right-click on Network Load Balancing Clusters, and then select New Cluster. The Connect pageof the New Cluster wizard appears, New Cluster: Connect.
    4. Enter the machine name for the Host, and then click the Connect button. On successful connection, a list of NICs will appear below along with their IP addresses.
    5. Select the external NIC, and then click Next.The New Cluster: Host Parameters page is presented.
    6. Select the IP address that you want to use, leave everything else default, and then click Next. The Cluster IP Addresses page of the New Cluster wizard is presented.
    7. Enter the IP address to be used for the cluster, it's subnet mask and full internet name; and then select Unicast from the Cluster generation mode group. Then click Next. The Port Rules page of the New Cluster wizard appears. A default rule will be listed.
    8. Click the Edit button. The Add/Edit Port Rule dialog appears.
    9. Configure as follows:
      1. Cluster IP address: enter this if not entered (do not check the All box).
      2. Port range: leave at default (0 - 65535).
      3. Protocols: Both.
      4. Filtering mode: Multiple host
      5. Affinity: Network.
      6. Timeout: 0
    10. Click OK. The Add/Edit Port Rule dialog closes, and the Port Rules page is displayed again.
    11. Click Finish. The New Cluster dialog closes, and you are returned to the Manager GUI.
  4. Restart WFEs
    NOTE: we found from experience that it is absolutely necessary to restart the WFE's after configuring the NLB.  This seemed to force the network configuration to update and properly associate the domain name with the cluster IP address.
  • Five server SharePoint 2013 farm: one app, one sql, one owa and two wfes.
  • Windows Server 2012 on Hyper-V 2012.
  • Each server: external and private vlan NICs.

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