Interoperability between MSCS and NLB

Support for Windows Server 2003 ended on July 14, 2015

Microsoft ended support for Windows Server 2003 on July 14, 2015. This change has affected your software updates and security options. Learn what this means for you and how to stay protected.

This article was previously published under Q235305
SUMMARY
Network Load Balancing (NLB) has the same feature set as Windows Load Balancing Service (WLBS) in Microsoft Windows NT 4.0. It provides the ability to distribute network client load across up to 32 nodes in a cluster.

Microsoft Cluster Service (MSCS) or server clusters provide failover functionality for programs that have state information that is stored on a disk that can be owned by any node in the cluster or is stored in the registry that is replicated through the quorum disk resource.

These two components work well together in a two or three tier application model running on separate computers. Be aware that running these two components on the same computer is unsupported and is not recommended by Microsoft due to potential hardware sharing conflicts between Cluster service and Network Load Balancing.
MORE INFORMATION
If support is needed on a computer that has both the Cluster service and Network Load Balancing installed, one of these components must be removed. To uninstall either of these components, use the appropriate method.

Computer must run the Cluster service

If your computer must run the Cluster service in a server cluster, remove NLB from the Network and Dialup Connections tool. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, point to Settings, click Control Panel, and then double-click Networking and Dial-Up Connections.
  2. Right-click a network adapter with Network Load Balancing bound to it, click Properties, and then click to clear the Network Load Balancing check box. Note that when you do so, the appropriate files will remain on your computer. Repeat this process for every adapter you have with Network Load Balancing bound to it, and then continue to the next step.
  3. Restart your computer.

Computer must run NLB

If your computer must run NLB, remove the Cluster service. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, point to Settings, click Control Panel, and then double-click Add/Remove Programs.
  2. Click Add/Remove Windows Components, click to clear the Cluster Service check box, and then follow the instructions on the screen to finish removing the Cluster service.
  3. Restart your computer. Be aware that when you remove the Cluster service, all files are removed in addition to service and device configuration information.
Note To remove the Cluster service on a Windows Server 2003 cluster, you must evict the node or use the /ForceCleanUp switch.

For more information about how to do this, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
282227 How to uninstall the Cluster service on a Windows Server 2003 cluster
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Article ID: 235305 - Last Review: 05/09/2008 17:29:13 - Revision: 4.4

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