Load-Balancing Pure Terminal Server Environments

Now that Microsoft's RDP protocol included in Windows Server 2003 has basically the same functionality as Citrix's ICA protocol, a lot of people are beginning to think about how to load-balance multiple Terminal Servers when Citrix MetaFrame is not used.

Now that Microsoft's RDP protocol included in Windows Server 2003 has basically the same functionality as Citrix's ICA protocol, a lot of people are beginning to think about how to load-balance multiple Terminal Servers when Citrix MetaFrame is not used. Of course you can use Microsoft's own network load-balancing services (part of the Enterprise Version of Windows Server 2003). However, this is based purely on network utilization, and you're limited to 32 servers that must all be on the same subnet. A more flexible solution is Tarantella / New Moon's Canaveral iQ, but that still costs $150 per user.

Another alternative is to use a hardware load-balancing device. In the past, people have been afraid of these, thinking that they're nothing more than IP-based network load-balancers. Well, times have changed! Windows Server 2003 exposes all of the performance counters and the session directory to external devices (i.e. these load-balancers). Now, you can have a hardware load-balancer that can intelligently route users to a server based on processor utilization or the overall number of sessions. Commonly referred to as "Layer 4-7" routers (since that's the part of the OSI stack they operate in), you buy them based on the number of servers you have, rather than the number of users you have. A $2000 load-balancer might seem expensive until you realize that it can support 8 servers, each with 100 or so users. $2000 for 800 users is not bad. (Of course these load-balancers can approach $20,000-$60,000, so they're not always the best solution.)

So, who makes these load-balancers? Several companies do--some that you've heard of and some that you haven't. The post popular ones for Terminal Server environments are F5's BIG-IP line of products. Nortel offers hardware load-balancing via their Alteon products, and Foundry's ServerIron products do the same. Finally Cisco's 11500 series of routers also offer Layer 4-7 content switching.

All in all, there may be a void in the market for a simple, easy, and cheap software-only load-balancing solution. Until then, these hardware devices do everything that's needed and more.

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This message was originally posted by an anonymous visitor on August 12, 2004
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/evaluation/features/compareeditions.mspx
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This message was originally posted by an anonymous visitor on November 2, 2004
Found these after a quick search but haven't tried either - the first one is cheap and the 2nd is free...
http://69.196.236.103/terminal/wtsgatewaypro.asp
http://www.clusteresis.com/rdplb.htm
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This message was originally posted by an anonymous visitor on November 18, 2004
Network Load Balancing

Previously known as Windows NT Load Balancing Service (WLBS), Network Load Balancing distributes incoming TCP/IP traffic among multiple servers. Your clustered applications, especially Web server applications, can handle more traffic, provide higher availability, and provide faster response times.


Terminal Server Session Directory

Terminal Server Session Directory is a feature that allows users to easily reconnect to a disconnected session in a load balanced Terminal Server farm. Session Directory is compatible with the Windows Server 2003 load balancing service, and is supported by third-party external load balancer products from manufacturers such as F5 Networks (formerly F5 Labs) and Radware. Note: The Session Directory Service runs on all editions of Windows Server 2003. However, in order to participate in a Session Directory the server must be running Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition or Windows Server 2003, Datacenter Edition including the 64- bit editions of the Windows Server 2003 family.
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can anyone help me to cear my confusion for the load balancing between WI and PS4 ICA connectivity?
 
I am confused between WI load balancing and PS4 servers load balancing
i am clear on WI load balancing with NLB on W2K3 servers
how can i load balance the PS4 servers for ICA client access ?
 
 
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This question would be better off in the appropriate forums
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