Implementing redundant servers

This topic provides information about implementing redundant servers for Microsoft Provisioning System.

For background information and links to resources about load balancing, clustering, and failover techniques, see the Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server product documentation at the Microsoft Web site ( You can also review the information listed in Additional resources. For more information about designing systems for high availability, see "Chapter 18: Ensuring the Availability of Applications and Services" in Windows 2000 Deployment Planning Guide at the Microsoft Web site(

Setting up redundant Microsoft Provisioning Framework servers

To help ensure system availability and performance, it is recommended that you implement redundant Microsoft Provisioning Framework (MPF) servers. That is, you should implement multiple servers running the same MPF component or components. You can have an unlimited number of redundant MPF servers in your deployment.

It is not necessary to do anything special to redundant MPF servers to achieve load balancing. Each MPF component includes built-in load-balancing functionality. After you have installed a component, it is automatically load balanced with any redundant MPF components running on other servers in your deployment. There is no additional configuration to perform, and you do not need to deploy a load balancer. In addition, because the MPF components are stateless, you do not need to set up clustering for redundant MPF servers.

When you install an MPF component, Setup automatically updates the MPF configuration database with the identity of the component and the server running it. When MPF client components receive a request, they refer to the MPF configuration database for a current list of servers running the MPF core components. They then pass the requests to those servers in a round-robin fashion, balancing the workload among them.

Setting up Network Load Balancing on HTTP servers

It is recommended that the redundant servers in your deployment that handle HTTP traffic from the Internet, such as the front-end and Web hosting servers, be configured as Network Load Balancing clusters. This distributes client requests among the HTTP servers and speeds up processing so that Internet clients get quicker responses to their requests. For more information about implementing Network Load Balancing clusters, see the Windows 2000 Advanced Server product documentation at the Microsoft Web site(

There are no special steps you must complete to set up redundant servers to run Delegated Administration Console. Once the first instance of Delegated Administration Console has been installed in your deployment, Setup automatically locates the existing Delegated Administration Console configuration database and points to it when you install additional instances.

Setting up SQL Server 2000 failover clusters

It is recommended that the redundant servers running SQL Server 2000 be configured as server cluster nodes. That way, if a server fails, the resources needed to run the database application should fail over to another node in the cluster. Clients connecting to the servers should experience a minimal disruption in service.

For instructions on how to set up failover clustering for SQL Server 2000, see the SQL Server product documentation at the Microsoft Web site. ( deployment topics in the MPF documentation provide instructions on installing MPF databases on a SQL Server cluster. For more information, see Microsoft Provisioning Framework SDK and documentation.

Setting up Microsoft Exchange 2000 Enterprise Server clusters

It is recommended that redundant Microsoft Exchange 2000 Enterprise Server be configured as server clusters. To implement Exchange 2000 Enterprise Server clusters, you must be running Windows 2000 Advanced Server or Windows 2000 Datacenter Server. For deployment instructions, see the white paper on deploying server clusters with Exchange 2000 Enterprise Server at the Microsoft Web site. (