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Synchronizing the Nodes

To successfully operate a web server on a cluster server, you have to ensure that the configuration of the web server is identical on every node. This synchronization can be done manually or through a utility called IISSYNC installed along with the Microsoft Clustering Service.

Prior to configuring the other nodes within your cluster or running the IISSYNC utility, you need to be sure that your login and authentication information is correct so that it will replicate correctly. If you have installed the clustering service on domain controllers, then your username and password will be a domain account, but if your cluster is installed on two member servers, then your anonymous account credentials will be local computer accounts and will not synchronize correctly.

To ensure that your web servers synchronize their configuration correctly, complete the following steps:

  1. Open the Internet Services Manager and connect to the server you have configured (most likely node one.)

  2. Right-click on the virtual website that you created for the cluster and select Properties, select the Directory Security tab, and click the Edit button to reveal the Authentication Methods dialog box.

  3. On your Authentication Methods screen, you should see the Anonymous Access and Integrated Windows Authentication options checked while the other options are cleared. Select the Edit button to reveal the anonymous account credentials.

  4. For the clustering of the web server to work correctly, the user listed in the Username field should be a domain account. If it is not, you will need to create two new users through Active Directory Users and Computers. Name the first IUSR_domainname and the second IWAM_domainname. These users will be used by IIS for anonymous account authentication.

  5. Once you have created those two users click the Browse button on this screen and select the new IUSR_domainname user from the directory. Type in the password you have assigned to the user. Make sure to clear the Allow IIS to Control Password option and select Ok. Select Ok again to save your settings.

  6. Now open a command prompt on node one and navigate to the c:\inetpub\adminscripts directory. Run the following two commands:

    Cscript adsutil.vbs SET W3SVC/WAMUserName WAM_domainname 
    Cscript adsutil.vbs SET W3SVC/WAMUserPass "userpassword" 

    If you receive an error prompting you to use Cscript as Vbscript type Yes and press the Enter key, then run the scripts without the cscript on the beginning of the string.

  7. Once you have completed running those two commands, you must synchronize the configuration of node one (which you have already done by adding the virtual website in the previous section) with node two and so on. To do so, you can either fail the resources you have created within cluster administrator to the new node and then manually recreate the website through Internet Services Manager, or run the IISSync utility.

If you choose to configure each virtual web manually, be sure to use the exact same configuration you used previously so that the servers are consistent. Going forward, any change made to any server within the cluster will need to be done on the other servers as well.

If you choose to use IISSync, just open a command prompt and navigate to the c:\winnt\system32\inetsrv directory and execute the following command:

IISSYNC node2_servername

This will synchronize the configuration between node one and node two. If you need to configure multiple nodes, just use the command followed by a list of nodes, delimited by a space as follows:

IISSYNC node2_servername node3_servername node4_servername

IISSYNC is not an automated script, so you will need to run the configuration command every time you change the configuration of any node within the cluster. This makes IISSYNC a good candidate for task scheduling. If you do schedule a task to run the IISSYNC utility, make sure that you are only making changes to the server that is being replicated, otherwise you may overwrite what you have changed on other machines.

IISSYNC is not limited to the web service, but should be run after any configuration change to the Web Service, the FTP Service, or the SMTP Service.

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