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Microsoft Releases Load Balancing

Windows NT Server 4.0 Enterprise Edition now boasts load balancing. Microsoft Corp. today announced the availability of Windows NT Load Balancing Service (WLBS), which had been expected to be released this month.

WLBS allows clustering of TCP/IP-based network services across up to 32 systems, which appear as a single logical TCP/IP address space, Microsoft says. The technology is based on Convoy Cluster Software, which Microsoft acquired when it purchased Beaverton, Ore.-based Valence Research Inc. in August.

WLBS is designed as a front-end complement to Microsoft Cluster Service (MSCS) for e-commerce sites, corporate intranet server farms, streaming media services, virtual private networks and Internet service providers.

Microsoft’s recommended n-tier configuration calls for the two-node MSCS to handle the back-end application and data service layers and WLBS to distribute client connections over multiple servers at the user-interface layer.

Microsoft demonstrated its end-to-end clustering solution at Networld + Interop in Atlanta in October. Microsoft has also been using the combination at microsoft.com and MSN.com.

WLBS is available immediately and rights to use the component are included in new Windows NT Server Enterprise Edition licenses. Existing enterprise edition license holders can download the component without cost. -- Scott Bekker, Staff Reporter

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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