I have several Windows Media servers I wish to load balance and I am wondering if I can use a load balancing server to very efficiently rewrite or re-route data packets.

I know that load balancing is relatively simple to achieve by using a software or hardware load balancer (Zeus for example) but the problem I have with all that I have found so far is that all traffic must still be transmitted through the load balancer on the return path. I would really like to know if it's possible to route data in such a way that when the client connects, their connection request is forwarded by the load balancer to a Windows Media server which will then respond directly to the client without the load balancer being involved from then on.

  • I wonder could you add a second NIC to each box and put the default gateway on a different connected network so the return path goes out an entirely different interface? – SpacemanSpiff Dec 9 '10 at 22:19

Many Load Balancers allow direct server return, which is what you are looking for. In fact I would be surprised to find a hardware load balancer not implementing it. However, there are pros and cons to this approach - some articles you may want to look at include this one stating some of the negatives and this one explaining the process in more detail as it relates to Windows Server 2008. Basically, whatever vendor you look at you should be looking for their information or DSR, Direct Server Return.

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