Topic last updated -- August 2007

Network Load Balancing (NLB) clusters enable the management of a group of independent servers as a single system for greater scalability, increased availability, and easier manageability. You can use network load balancing to increase the number of clients supported by management point, server locator point, and software update point site systems.

Windows Server 2003 network load balancing supports up to 32 computers, or hosts, running Windows Server 2003 in a single cluster and distributes client requests across the cluster hosts. Hosts can be added or removed without interrupting cluster availability. NLB clusters are particularly useful for ensuring that stateless applications, such as Web pages from a server running Internet Information Services (IIS), are highly available and can be scaled out by adding additional servers as the load increases. The ease with which network load balancing allows you to replace a malfunctioning server or add a new server provides scalability.

Management point site systems configured as part of NLB clusters in Configuration Manager 2007 sites configured to operate in mixed mode require registration of a Service Principal Name (SPN) in Active Directory Domain Services for the user name configured to run the CCM Windows Auth Server Framework Pool IIS application pool to allow mixed mode client approval processes.

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