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I am not sure if this is possible or even reccomended...

I did have 1 web server which is basically used just to handle file uploads (around 130+ per day, and average of 100mb each).

I now have a backup server in place on the same network which basically just mirrors the files uploaded in case of a disk failure.

I have done a little thinking and thought it seemed like a waste of a server just being used to store files dormantly, would it be possible to load balance these 2 servers to share the load.

I know i would need to keep the uploaded data in sync between the 2 servers, but is there some software which can load balance with just 2 machines?

They are both running Windows Server 2003 if that makes any difference.

Thank you!

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

would it be possible to load balance these 2 servers to share the load

Well, are you sure that's not unwanted complexity? As you describe your setup, I imagine your single server is never breaking a sweat. You seem to have a need for data security and uptime, not for additional capacity.

is there some software which can load balance with just 2 machines?

Windows Network Load Balacing (NLB) comes built-in with Windows Server. It's a load balancing / high availability solution that works at the IP layer. NLB would probably be the first pick for your needs. I don't know how a fail-over in the middle of a file upload would be handled (you didn't specify which protocol is used). My guess is that the transfer would time out and have to be re-started manually.

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Sorry I did forget to mention that the server is being used to download all these files / stream them (they are mp3 files). At busy periods there is around 250+ active connections downloading / streaming which is why I think load balancing could help here. If a server was to go down during an upload and the upload / stream cancelled then I can live with that, as long as when they tried again after it would automatically switch to the other server. – Paul Hinett Feb 21 '10 at 13:04
@Paul: OK; take a look at ARR together with NLB; or NLB alone.… – Jesper Mortensen Feb 22 '10 at 0:15
I beleive ARR is only available on Windows Server 2008 (IIS7)? – Paul Hinett Feb 22 '10 at 21:51
@Paul: I thought ARR 1 was available for IIS6; but I had that wrong. NLB can still do basic load balancing of static files on (TCP/)IP level (share 1 IP between 2 PCs) without ARR. If you don't like NLB, then there are several open source Unix load balancers (nginx, HAProxy), and not-that-expensive appliances (Coyote Point, Kemp). Pls consider updating your question / get it upvoted, and generally remember to use the voting system on this site. HTH. – Jesper Mortensen Feb 23 '10 at 6:01
Thank you for the information...will do some more investigating on windows NLB. – Paul Hinett Feb 24 '10 at 3:32

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