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Should the Application Server be part of Load Balancing? RRS feed

  • Question

  • I'm planning to start with three servers (+SQL Server), of which 2 are Web Front ends and 1 is Application Server, all are running Windows 2008 Standard (not yet sure if we go with R2 or not)

    I want to use the Windows Load Balancing, but I don't know if my Application Server should be part of the Cluster or not? It's not supposed to serve pages other than Central Admin.

    If I wanted to cluster application servers later, would I have to setup a second NLB Cluster or would I leave them unclustered and install Service Applications on them? Finally, how can I actually setup SharePoint Web Applications on multiple Servers? Never done clustering, but I think I somehow need to involve all Web Frontends in hosting the one Web Application that contains the site collections I want to cluster?

    Tuesday, March 30, 2010 3:51 AM

Answers

  • No, that wouldn't make sense.  You load balance the WFEs so that users are sent to the WFE with lesser load at that time, and this keeps them in balance in terms of user load.  The app server is not browsed by users, so there's no reason to have it in rotation.  It also shouldn't have the web application service running anyway, so it can't be load balanced.  Btw, you don't load balance the servers themselves, but rather the services on them, which in this case are your content sites (web apps).

    Later, you would not "cluster" app servers either.  The whole point of the service application model in 2010 is that the each place you start a "Manager services on server" for a given service app, SharePoint automatically load balances them - no load balancing mechanism needs to be added.  You don't install service apps on the other servers either, because that creates an entirely new instance of that service app.  Instead, you juse go to System Settings > Manage Services on Server, then start each relevant service on your app server.

    You don't need to set up web apps on each server.  That's the whole idea on how it works.  You start the web application service on your new WFE, and then all web applications (except central admin) get replicated to that WFE.

    PS. NLB is not very good, so it's recommended to use a hardware load balancer.  Yes, you should put each WFE in rotation, but app servers are not WFEs.


    SharePoint Architect || My Blog
    • Marked as answer by GuYuming Monday, October 18, 2010 8:13 AM
    Tuesday, March 30, 2010 6:36 AM
  • To compliment Clayton, please read what follows from http://blogs.msdn.com/spses/archive/2010/01/20/sharepoint-2010-shared-service-architecture-part-1.aspx , it means that if you started multiple instance of the same service application on different machine, SharePoint will handle with the built-in load balancer:

    Redundancy Built-in

    Multiple application servers can run a physical instance of the same Service Application. This is accomplished by running step 3 above on more than one application server. This provides redundancy in that requests from WFE’s pass through a built in load balancer to locate available application server running a physical instance.

    For Example: Two application servers are running the same Excel Service application. If one application server goes down, the built-in load balancer will detect it and future request to Excel Service Application will be directed to application server that is still up and running with the associated physical instance.

    • Marked as answer by GuYuming Monday, October 18, 2010 8:13 AM
    Thursday, April 1, 2010 8:30 AM

All replies

  • No, that wouldn't make sense.  You load balance the WFEs so that users are sent to the WFE with lesser load at that time, and this keeps them in balance in terms of user load.  The app server is not browsed by users, so there's no reason to have it in rotation.  It also shouldn't have the web application service running anyway, so it can't be load balanced.  Btw, you don't load balance the servers themselves, but rather the services on them, which in this case are your content sites (web apps).

    Later, you would not "cluster" app servers either.  The whole point of the service application model in 2010 is that the each place you start a "Manager services on server" for a given service app, SharePoint automatically load balances them - no load balancing mechanism needs to be added.  You don't install service apps on the other servers either, because that creates an entirely new instance of that service app.  Instead, you juse go to System Settings > Manage Services on Server, then start each relevant service on your app server.

    You don't need to set up web apps on each server.  That's the whole idea on how it works.  You start the web application service on your new WFE, and then all web applications (except central admin) get replicated to that WFE.

    PS. NLB is not very good, so it's recommended to use a hardware load balancer.  Yes, you should put each WFE in rotation, but app servers are not WFEs.


    SharePoint Architect || My Blog
    • Marked as answer by GuYuming Monday, October 18, 2010 8:13 AM
    Tuesday, March 30, 2010 6:36 AM
  • To compliment Clayton, please read what follows from http://blogs.msdn.com/spses/archive/2010/01/20/sharepoint-2010-shared-service-architecture-part-1.aspx , it means that if you started multiple instance of the same service application on different machine, SharePoint will handle with the built-in load balancer:

    Redundancy Built-in

    Multiple application servers can run a physical instance of the same Service Application. This is accomplished by running step 3 above on more than one application server. This provides redundancy in that requests from WFE’s pass through a built in load balancer to locate available application server running a physical instance.

    For Example: Two application servers are running the same Excel Service application. If one application server goes down, the built-in load balancer will detect it and future request to Excel Service Application will be directed to application server that is still up and running with the associated physical instance.

    • Marked as answer by GuYuming Monday, October 18, 2010 8:13 AM
    Thursday, April 1, 2010 8:30 AM
  • But would it make sense to add your own load balancing layer between the WFE and Application Server layers? I know SharePoint has its own mechanism, but maybe you'd like to have more control?

    I asked this question here:

    http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/ar-SA/sharepoint2010setup/thread/040f6fc2-7dd1-4291-bae3-fc2fab63a6d1

     

    Monday, December 19, 2011 10:13 AM