Remotely installing a simple network load balance on Server 2012 core using PowerShell

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Remotely installing a simple network load balance on Server 2012 core using PowerShell

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Added by September 5, 2012

Recently in deploying a series of web servers I ran a across a situation where I needed a simple load balance between four servers effectively making a small web farm. In my case I wanted to perform the NLB installation and configuration using PowerShell so I could script it as part of an overall disaster recovery plan. The cmdlets for NLB have been available since the release of Server 2008 R2 I just hadn’t had a chance to try them out. Now was the time to put those cmdlets to the test.

The setup
(This content applies to Server 2008R2 and Server 2012)

My environment is very simple in this case, I have a management box running the new Windows 8 with the RSAT administration tools, but a Windows 7 box would work as well. You will need the RSAT tools for NLB so if you don’t have them jump out to Microsoft and download them.
I also have four Server 2012 core boxes already joined to the domain with IIS deployed. Before I provision the new websites I want to get the load balancing implemented and tested using the default website.

Implementing Microsoft NLB – remotely

The first step is to install the Network Load Balancing (NLB) feature on the servers. From the management station create a PowerShell remote session to the servers.

* Note, the above module import is not required on Server 2012

After NLB is installed (no need to reboot) use the NLB cmdlets on your management client to create the load balance and add the additional nodes. In my situation I’m going to create the load balance on web1 with a cluster IP address of and then add nodes web2, web3, and web4.

Add the new cluster IP address to your DNS and you’re good to go. I tested the load balance using the default website created during the IIS installation and failed some of the servers to make sure the load balance was performing correctly.

If you’re in need of a quick and simple load balancer, you have a free one built into windows server 2008R2 and 2012. Easy to install and configure using PowerShell.

Knowledge is PowerShell,

Jason Helmick

Jason is Director of PowerShell Technologies and an Instructor at Interface Technical Training in Phoenix, AZ.

Upcoming PowerShell classes taught by Jason:

Attend in person or Online with RemoteLive. Also available in Video Training.

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