Ask the Expert

Should I use NLB or a third-part load balancer?

I am trying to decide whether to use Windows 2000's Network Load Balancing (NLB) for my three Web servers or whether to use a third-party load balancer, as we have been doing with NT. Is there any advantage to paying extra for the third-party load balancer? A vendor is trying to tell us that Microsoft's NLB doesn't work well, and that even MS recommends not using it. Yet, other sources (not a vendor trying to sell us something) indicate that the NLB works just fine. Our Web site gets only a couple thousand hits a day at the most -- very low traffic. Any advice would be appreciated.

    Requires Free Membership to View

For that low a level of traffic, Microsoft's own built-in NLB is probably more than good enough. Most of the problems described are usually only in extremely high-traffic, high-stress environments. A site that gets a few thousand hits a day probably doesn't even need NLB at all. I currently administer a site that does about 20-30 GB of bandwidth in traffic a day from a single 100-megabit network interface. People often think that NLB is a Band-Aid for other problems, such as poorly-designed sites that bog down the incoming request queue. In short, try it -- you may find it's not even all that urgently needed.

This was first published in March 2003

There are Comments. Add yours.

TIP: Want to include a code block in your comment? Use <pre> or <code> tags around the desired text. Ex: <code>insert code</code>

REGISTER or login:

Forgot Password?
By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy
Sort by: OldestNewest

Forgot Password?

No problem! Submit your e-mail address below. We'll send you an email containing your password.

Your password has been sent to: