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The front-end of our set-up runs via:-

  • A Linux load balancer - running HAProxy for load-balancing with stunnel in front for SSL connections.
  • This serves 2 x Windows Server boxes running IIS 7.5

I need a way of ensuring that the 2 IIS boxes are always in sync (i.e. if I change a setting on one, then within a matter of moments, the second should be automatically updated).

Having looked around the Microsoft Web Farm Framework seems the best solution for this, however I'm not sure if this plays nicely (or duplicates functionality) of the HAProxy level in front of it?

Many thanks in advance.

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3 Answers 3

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Application Request Routing (ARR) would duplicate the functionality of haproxy - Web Farm Framework 2.0 (WFF) is a platform- and content synchronization tool. They can be installed together, or used separately.

Web Farm Framework or just WebDeploy/MSDeploy with a command-line sync would probably do the job.

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In the end we used Web Farm Framework - and used the Workflow extensibility features of version 2 to fire off commands to HAProxy where required (using PLink) –  isNaN1247 Mar 21 '11 at 8:10

IIS 7 and 7.5 have a feature called Shared Configuration. It works very well in combination with Windows Server's Distributed File System (DFS) replication and Network Load Balancing (NLB).

Note: DFSR requires the servers being in an Active Directory Domain.

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You definitely need to check, but the hardware loadbalancing technologies I've used have always ignored any native Windows web load balancing (such as NLB). This happens because the hardware load balancers know the individual names of the webservers involved, whereas if you were relying on the Windows NLB you'd access the farm using a virtual server name - and the content would be served up by any one of the servers in the farm.

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