Internet server programs supporting mission-critical applications—such as financial transactions, database access, corporate intranets, and other key functions—must run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. And networks need the ability to scale performance to handle large volumes of client requests without creating delays. The Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server and Datacenter Server operating systems include two clustering technologies—the Cluster service and Network Load Balancing (NLB)—that enable you to manage a group of independent servers as a single system for higher availability, easier manageability, and greater scalability. The Cluster service is intended primarily to provide failover support for critical line-of-business applications such as databases, messaging systems, and file/print services, and NLB balances incoming Internet Protocol (IP) traffic among multinode clusters. In this chapter, you’ll learn how to use NLB to improve availability and scalability in your Web environment. The Cluster service is discussed in Chapter 4, "Microsoft Windows 2000 Cluster Service."
To complete the lessons in this chapter, you must have