I've a closed code application that needs to connect to a web service that needs to run on XPs or Windows 7 (desktop). The application can only connect to a single IP address. The application is low volume - less than 1000 HTTP GETs a day.
The system flow is: Client application --> HTTP --> Web servce
What I can do: 1. Install software on the Client machine. 2. Install software on the Web service machines. 3. Install a network gadget.
To provide some form of high availability, I wish to distribute the load across 2 physical machines in case 1 of them is down.
I know there are software/hardware load balancers and open source Linux solutions, but the entire solution has a budget of only $3k for hardware, so the hardware load balancer must not cost more than $1.5K (leaving $1.5 for the 2 PCs), Windows servers (NLB) and VMs are probably out. We can't use Linux as there's no budget for Linux expertise either. There are also DNS solutions, but I prefer not to use them as they are complicated and I suspect, not so reliable.
Recently, I've also explored the possibility of building a packet filtering app as such WinpkFilter (http://www.ntkernel.com/w&p.php?id=7) to capture the IP packets from the client machine and automatically distribute across the 2 servers. This will probably be the last resort because since I prefer not to reinvent the wheel.
I've been searching for a solution for sometime but there seem to be nothing in the market. Will appreciate any pointers. Thank you. :)
Linux NLB is out, but I could use Windows based solution besides than Windows NLB.