Use Network load balancing (NLB)

Microsoft’s clustering technology - Network Load Balancer (NLB) is one of the load balancing techniques you can use with Sitefinity.

For more information, see, Network Load Balancing and Network Load Balancing Technical Overview.

Enabling Network Load Balancing (NLB)

  1. Open the Server Manager of your Windows Server 2008 by opening your Start Menu and clicking Administrative Tools » Server Manager.
  2. In the navigation tree on the left, click Features.
  3. In the right pane, click Add Features.
  4. From the list of features that appear, select Network Load Balancing and click Next » Install.
    An installation progress bar appears.
  5. When installation is finished, click Close.

IMPORTANT: You must complete this procedure for every server that will be part of the Network Load Balancing cluster.

Creating an NLB cluster

  1. Open Network Load Balancing Manager by clicking Start » Administrative Tools » Network Load Balancing Manager.

    PREREQUISITES: Before you can create a new cluster, all of the Network Interface Cards (NIC) that will be used for NLB in your servers must have static IP addresses.

  2. In the main menu, click Cluster » New.
  3. Enter the host that will be part of the new cluster and connect to the host.
  4. In the list that appears, select the interface that you want to use with the cluster and click Next.
  5. Set the host priority, if necessary, add dedicated IP addresses, and click Next.
  6. Add a cluster IP address by clicking Add and entering the cluster IP address that will be shared by all hosts in the cluster.
  7. Click Next.
  8. In Cluster Parameters screen, select the IP address and the subnet mask and enter the full internet name that will be used to access the cluster.
  9. Specify one of the following operation modes for your cluster:
    • Unicast
      Select in case every host of your cluster has a designated network adapter for NLB, so that all servers share the MAC address of the cluster.
    • Multicast
      Select if every host of your cluster has a single network adapter, so that every server keeps its own address while in the cluster.
    • For more information about cluster operation modes, see Network Load Balancing Technical Overview on
  10. Click Next.
  11. In Port Rules, if necessary, you can edit the default port rules by clicking Edit.
    Because Sitefinity CMS does not utilize the session state, make sure to set the filtering mode to Multiple host with an Affinity of none.
  12. Click Finish.
    The new cluster appears in the tree on the left.
    After you have created a cluster, you must add hosts that will share the network load.
  13. Open Network Load Balancing Manager by clicking Start » Administrative Tools » Network Load Balancing Manager.
  14. In the context menu of the cluster that you want to add host to, click Add Host to Cluster.
  15. Enter the name of the host and click Connect.
  16. Perform Step 4 to Step 12.

For more information, open the Network Load Balancing Manager and clicking Help » Help Topics.

Once you have created and configured your cluster, you must configure Sitefinity CMS for load balancing. For more information, see Administration: Configure Sitefinity CMS for load balancing.

Configuring health monitoring with NLB

For more information, see Health Monitoring NLB Nodes (IIS specific) 

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