In Server 2008 R2: NLB Questions

Hi Everyone,

I'm trying to build a server box for my house. I installed windows server 2008 R2. I've got everything up and running but I'm having an issue with the NLB.

I've never used NLB before, and thus far I can't seem to get both onboard NICs to work properly. I currently can configure one cluster, by telling the NLB manager to look at localhost, then choosing one of the NICs. I set the cluster ip to and the NIC ip to

At this point, I can access my server via that new cluster ip. I can ping it fine as well. Now I try to add another host, I type in the ip address of the second NIC. It connect and I can select that NIC to add. I then set the address of this NIC to

The NLB manager refreshes, shows my my cluster and the two NICs. The first NIC works fine, but the second NIC always is misconfigured.

I just can't figure out how to get both NICs to become configured and balanced. I can see the server and move files with one configure NIC and one misconfigured NIC. Also the server cannot access the internet.

Is NLB designed to do this? Everything I read setups up the NLB for 1 NIC public access and 1 NIC private access. I want both NICs to be able to share over my private network and be able to download.

Can anyone help?
31 answers Last reply
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  1. NLB basically combines two or more NICs or clusters together and shares the data out between them. Instead of 1 NIC being at 100%, 2 are at 50%.

    It sounds like your 2nd NIC is being configured wrong though. I haven't messed with NLB in 2k8 yet though.

    What is the purpose of NLB the 2 NICs? If its a server I'm guessing you have 2 Gigabit NICs. What kind of data are you working with that you need to NLB 2 gigabit NICs?

    Here are some links that might help:
  2. The router isn't 1000mbps. I know I should upgrade it, but before I go spend 30 dollars to get a switch I wanna see if I can achieve 200mbps.

    I'll check out those links you post.


    Btw I swear to god I'm configuring it correctly, although windows says I'm not.

    I create a new cluster, type in localhost, then pick one of my nics. I set the cluster ip and the nic ip. Done. It works the VIP is pingable and I can access information on the server. Ok.

    Now I go to try to add another host. Localhost won't work because I've already used it once and its added to the cluster. So this type I type in the ip address of my 2nd nic. It finds it, I add it, give it a new ip. It tries to configure it then spits out a message that it is misconfigured. Annoying isn't it?

    Ontop of that once the cluster becomes configured to one nic, i can't access the internet.
  3. Oh I just peeked at the articles. I've read all of them, thats how I managed to get one nic on the cluster. I just can't seem to get the second one. Its soo freaking annoying. I think it has something to do with using localhost to build the cluster and picking one nic, but not being able to do it again to choose another nic.

    Do I have to make two clusters? One cluster for each nic?

    How do I solve the internet issue?
  4. You have to specify that one NIC is used for internet traffic. The other NIC will be used for receiving/sending whatever.

    I'm thinking that when you configure NIC #1, something isn't right. NIC #1 should be configure to work with the internet. NIC#2 should be configured to work with maybe the local lan?

    When you have NIC#1 configured, can you access the internet and the server? Or just one?

    Can you list out basic IPs of what is what? What is NIC1 configure like, NIC2 configured like, what the server IP would be and what the internet gateway is? Along with the cluster IP?

    Don't give out any public info though, just to get a basic idea of what's going where. I'm wondering if both NICs are being configured to do the same job and thus getting hosed up on each other. Maybe both going to the server, or both to the internet and the cluster isn't sure which NIC to use for the job?
  5. First off, I'm so glad your helping me out. I've tried several forums and no one seems to want to lend a helping hand.

    Ok so here is exactly what I am doing.

    Install NLB role.
    Launch NLB manager.
    Create new cluster.
    Connect to: LocalHost

    Choose NIC 1 Parameters
    Set IP XXX.XXX.1.101
    Set Submask XXX.255.255.0
    Set Priority 1

    Choose cluster Paramters
    Set IP
    Set Submask
    Full Internet name is blank (I dunno what this means)
    Cluster Operation Mode UNICAST

    Port Rules: I just click Finish, didn't adjust anything.

    Ok now the cluster comes on. I can ping the cluster VIP and access the files on the server. I cannot access the internet if the second NIC is disable. Does this have to deal with internet name?

    Add new host in the same cluster
    Connect: (this is the second NIC's IP)
    Choose NIC Parameters
    Set IP
    Set Submask
    Set Priority 2

    Port Rules: Just click finish, left it unchanged.

    Let the computer try to set it up, and then it shows that the cluster is up, NIC 1 which is works, but NIC 2 is misconfigured.

    Both nics, were initially before the NLB setup, are statically set via the router at &
  6. Ok sounds like we can get this working.

    Full Internet Name is the FQDN (Fully Qualified Domain Name). This is going to be for the public portion - do you get this option when configuring NIC #2?

    There should be a spot when configuring NIC #2 to configure the Public Interface or a check box under Port Rules.. something dealing with the Public Interface.. which would make that NIC do the internet traffic.

    I'm searching some resources I have to see what I can find out for you. Do you have an external domain name ( that you're using or anything like that?
  7. Looking further.. your Full Internet Name can be something like "cluster.home.local" which is just the name.

    Instead of using UNICAST, switch it over to MULTICAST. That's the better route to go according to my info.

    On the "New Cluster Parameters" page, you'll want to add the IP address you'll be using for the Cluster "" and the name (cluster.home.local or whatever you want the name to be, doesn't matter much, something you'll remember or what the server does. can be cluster.whatever.whatever)

    Make sure that stays on Multicast as well.

    Try that out and check back in. I have to go to a meeting right now... but I might be able to PM you some articles that might help out too.
  8. No it doesn't ask my for the FQDN when I configure the second NIC. It only ask me during the initial new cluster creation and nic selection.

    As NIC 2 configuration concerning public interface there doesn't seem to be anything. This is a screen shot provided by the last link you gave me

    There is nothing about public interface or private interface.

    Also I don't have a external domain name. I don't really want public access to my server. This server only handles my private network queries and downloads files requested from its users via its own internet connection which it gets from the router.
  9. Ok I think I found the issue. In 2008, port forwarding with NLB isn't automatically on.

    You have to determine which NIC you want public facing and which one will be answering. Then you have to turn port forwarding on.

    Two links, the first one is the indepth link, the second one is the basic one to follow for the commands with screen shots and what it should look like.

    I'm guessing you configure the cluster first and get NIC#1 in place. Enable forwarding, then add NIC#2 to it after the forwarding is on.
  10. Ok I'll give it a shot right now. I hope it works because if it doesn't. I gotta haul a monitor, keyboard, mouse, and video card down stairs to the cabinet. I hate that ***, its soo annoying.
  11. Hey at least you have 2008. We're on a spending hold.. but setting up a sql cluster and virtual citrix servers. Gotta wait for the money to come rolling back in to start upgrading the servers and implementing all the goodies.

    I'll be taking off in about 10 minutes and probably won't be back around until tomorrow. I'll check back in shortly to see how things are going.
  12. Quick question.

    I'm looking at the second link you sent me.

    I've already enabled port fowarding on NIC 2 but I haven't added it to the cluster. According to the article i have to add a presistent default route on both nodes.

    C:/route add mask if [xx] -p

    I definitely know that the should be replaced and the [xx] but with what?
  13. You have each NIC configured with static IPs, subnet and gateways? Local Area Connection area.. configure both of them there.

    Configure your cluster with the VIP. Assign the NICs, multicast mode. Enable the forwarding on the public NIC.

    Are you hosting WINS or DNS too and if so are you adding those into the LAN settings?
  14. When you do the Route Print (ss above the last one in the link) you'll see where he has XX listed. I'm guessing it would be that. I'm checking into it more.
  15. Ok hold up lets slow it down a second. I have each nic configured statically when it is not in a cluster. My router is assigning the same gateway and subnet to all computers.

    After I configured the cluster with the VIP, it changes the NICS mac address so the static ip setting is useless on the router.

    I don't think i have WINS or DNS.
  16. It'll be the interface number. 0x1, 0x2 You should be able to use the significant number... ie 1 or 2 for the XX.

    That would be your public facing interface.
  17. Yea i figured out XX is the ID number of the NIC. However whats the deal with the and
  18. I have to run back I'll be back around tomorrow.

    Can you set your router to recognize the new MAC address of the NLB? Or can you take the MAC addresss settings for the 2 NICs out and completely configure them static? Removing the router configuration and add the gateway/router into the TCP LAN?
  19. Ok. Sounds good. I'll talk to you tomorrow!
  20. Ok so I've worked and worked. Needless to say, I had to drag a monitor, video card, keyboard, and mouse down to the server cabinet; such a pain.

    Anywayz I went ahead set a static IP, DNS, Submask, and Gateway via the TCP/IP protocol via the nic settings.

    NIC 1:

    NIC 2:

    Full Internet Name: (blank)
    Operation Mode: Unicast
    Port Rules: All Port & Single Host

    I can ping all NIC IPS and the cluster VIP. I can access the server files via network. The server can download from the internet. However the Network load balancing manager is still saying one of the NICs is misconfigured. The weird part is, it said that about one nic, then after a reboot said it about the other one.

    The even stranger part is that when I'm using the server to download a file from the internet, the Network Monitor will show that both NICs are using roughly 20% of their bandwidth. 20% is correct because I'm downloading near 2.3mbs but why are both NICs showing this? While the server is downloading I tried copying a file from it. One NIC shoots to 99% while the other nic maintains the 20%.

    I even tried copying a file and streaming a file while the server is downloading. This showed one NIC at 99% load and the other at 2.2% load. If the streaming is stopped the percentages stay the same.

    Im not sure what is going on.
  21. Try adding a Full Internet Name (cluster.server.local). I'm wondering if that will have an effect on what NIC receives the public info. That could also trigger error message that one isn't configured right.

    I'm not sure that NLB would use both NICs to download a file. I think its more designed that one sends and the other receives... so the high load on the one NIC is right. Its using as much as possible because its only pulling, not looking to receive anything. Otherwise the NIC would be around 50% load because it would still need to receive.

    The other NIC would be doing the receiving and answering any other requests. I'm surprised at the lack of info out there on 2 NIC NLB too.
  22. Yea there really isn't much. I'll give that a shot too. Should I try adding the on from my isp?or just a random made up one?
  23. I'd use a randomly made up one.. cluster.server.local

    It would just be a name that you're referencing and it wouldn't have a public facing name really. The cluster would use that name with the mac address.
  24. Any luck?

    I'm wondering if the port forwarding is the issue? Maybe try opening port forwarding on both NICs. Rotate between them to see if you're getting right the one. Open one, close the other. Open the closed, close the open...
  25. Sorry. I haven't had a chance to get around to it. I gotta run up to my lab in the next 10 minutes. I'll be up there for about an hour then I can come back and give it a shot.

    I did try the port forwarding thing yesterday. I enabled both, disabled both, and ran a combination. No luck. I'm pretty sure if this Full Internet Name doesn't work its a lost cause. I've literally tried everything, at least to what you and I can think of. There just isn't anything else to do, in the settings or configurations. I might not be 100% tech savy, but I know how to try combinations until I get a result.

    As I typed that, one thing did spring to mind. I read on the microsoft website, something about only having a TCP/IP protocol installed. But there are so many installed standard. Should I remove them?
  26. What all do you have installed?

    TCP should really be the only protocol installed. NetBEUI, IPX/SPX should not be there. Other than that you should have Client for MS, NLB, maybe a QoS in there as well.
  27. I dunno right now, I can check when I get home. Will you be around later today? As of right now I'm waiting for an electrophoresis gel to finish, then I have to setup another PCR reaction. 30 Mins tops.
  28. Ok just got back...

    I have installed
    Clients for Microsoft Network
    QoS Packet Scheduler
    File and Printing Sharing for Microsoft Network
    TCP/IP V6
    TCP/IP V4
    Link Layer Topology Discovery Mapper I/O Driver
    Link Layer Topology Discovery Responder
  29. I've heard of people uninstalling TCPIP V6 to resolve issues.

    Everything else looks to be ok. V6 is the only other protocol installed. Since you're not using a V6 IP address scheme, might as well remove it.
  30. Ok. I'm away from the server for at least a week. I'll try it out when I get back and let you know.
  31. Sounds good, I'll be around on and off.
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