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Clustering the World Wide Web Service

The World Wide Web service is a service included within the Internet Information Server family. Internet Information Server used to be an add-on for Windows NT 4.0 and earlier operating systems, but has been included with the operating system installation since Windows 2000 Server was released. The WWW Server is a powerful way to host Internet, intranet, and extranet web applications because it supports ASP (Active Server Pages), XML, and CGI scripting by default, and can easily be configured to support PERL, Macromedia's Cold Fusion, and other third party products.

By clustering the World Wide Web Service, you run two separate physical instances of a website that appear to the users as one site. Unlike load balancing, clustering stores the data in one place, on the shared disk array, so synchronization of data is not necessary. You do however have to synchronize the configuration of the web server between all nodes, but this can be done manually or through an automated tool quite easily.

Before installing your web cluster, there are a few prerequisites that you should be meet:

  • Both servers must be connected to the shared disk array and be running the Microsoft Clustering Service.

  • The Microsoft Distributed Transaction Coordinator (DTC) Service must be running as a cluster resource if you choose to support transactions within your website.

  • The web directory must be created on the shared disk.

The next section will walk you through the process of meeting the prerequisites.

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