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I've been playing around with the 2010 beta for a couple of weeks, experimenting with topology options etc. I think I've got myself totally confused as to how it works hence if there's any SP experts out there that can explain things in simple terms for me I'd appreciate it!

I want to setup a farm with 3 servers providing the content & MySites. I presume that the way to do this is to load balance or DNS round robin traffic between the 3 servers.

The bit where I'm confused is that My Site Settings page asks for a specific My Site Host hence all my site traffic will be pushed to a single server even though we have 3 in the farm. If this hosts fails I presume MySites will be unavailable.

Is this right? How do I configure it so that access to MySites is load balanced across the 3 servers in the farm?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

Yes, you need to implement a load balancer (Windows NLB would work for this, but so would a hardware based appliance) in front of your sites. In this scenario you would have 2 load balanced "clusters" setup. The first would be for your content and the second for your mysites. It would look something like this:

  • (this is the cluster name)
  • (this is the cluster name)

So your users only ever go to and - NLB takes care of the routing to the 3 hosts. It also handles an outage of one of the hosts by not routing traffic to that host.

Within the My Sites settings, you tell it the host is, and again the load balancing will handle the routing to the individual servers.

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Thanks - does this mean then that each node in the cluster needs to have the User profile service running for it to be able to server mysites data? – Chris W Mar 24 '10 at 15:40
Nope - the service just needs to be made available to the farm. – MattB Mar 24 '10 at 15:47
But for high availability I presume it needs to be running on more than one server? So in this case we'd have 3 front-end servers clustered and maybe run 2 app servers that have things like search, indexing, user profile etc running? – Chris W Mar 24 '10 at 15:49
Yes, that is true - you can (and should) run service applications on multiple servers to make them highly available. – MattB Mar 24 '10 at 15:58
Great - thanks for your help! – Chris W Mar 24 '10 at 16:09

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