Installing and Configuring the First NLB Cluster Host

Applies To: Windows Server 2008

After you have installed and configured the hardware for the cluster, you are ready to install and configure the first Network Load Balancing (NLB) cluster host. The first cluster host acts as a master copy when you use an image-based deployment method, such as Windows Deployment Services (WDS), Sysprep, or a third-party product, to deploy the remaining cluster hosts.

An image-based deployment is faster and ensures consistency when implementing the remaining cluster hosts, by reducing or eliminating manual configuration. In addition, the same image-based deployment method can be reused after the deployment to restore failed cluster hosts.

For detailed documentation for Windows Deployment Services, see Windows Deployment Services. For detailed information on performing unattended installations, see Windows Automated Installation Kit (Windows AIK).

Perform the following procedure to install and configure the first NLB cluster host.

To install and configure the first NLB host

  1. If you did not use the automated installation process to create the new cluster, start NLB Manager and create a new cluster. For instructions on creating NLB clusters using NLB Manager, see the NLB product help.

  2. Install the roles and features on the first cluster host. An example of Windows ServerĀ 2008 roles and features to be installed at this time include IIS.

  3. Enable monitoring and health checking on the first cluster host. A Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM) Management Pack exists for NLB. When your organization uses MOM to monitor and manage the servers within your organization, include the MOM Management Pack for NLB on the cluster hosts.

  4. Verify that the first NLB cluster host responds to client queries by directing requests to the cluster IP address. Test the first cluster host by specifying the cluster IP address or a virtual cluster IP address in the client software that is used to access the application or service running on the cluster. For example, a client accessing an IIS application would put the cluster IP address or virtual cluster IP address in the Web browser address line.


Create an entry in DNS for the cluster only after you have completed the deployment of the entire cluster. Prematurely publishing the applications in DNS might result in overwhelming the cluster hosts before all cluster hosts are installed.