Microsoft NLB with CloudGateway (Receiver Storefront)

Many time at many of my customer place I had to install WebInterface and bring high availability  for this front web. The first thing coming in my mind every time and the first question I have is : “Ok, do you have an appliance (F5, NetScaler) to enable the load balancing ?” Most of the time it’s yes, but we cannot use it to load balance WebInterface…

So if you cannot use an application to load balance the WebInterface, the solution was to use what was build-in Microsoft Windows, the Network Load Balancing. Of course this is a dummy load balancing but it’s better than nothing.

The Micrsoft NLB runs as a Windows networking driver. Its operations are transparent to the TCP/IP networking stack.

So basically, this is what I’m doing for WebInterface and it should work as well for Receiver Storefront (CloudGateway). Here a simple how to enable Microsoft NLB for 2 Receiver Storefront servers (at least)

Information :

  • Receiver Storefront server 1 :,
  • Receiver Storefront server 2 :,
  • nlb details :,

Network Load Balancing feature in Microsoft Windows 2008 R2

To enable NLB feature on Windows 2008 R2 there are two ways, the Server Manager GUI and with a PowerShell script (to make an unattended installation)

Using the Server Manager GUI

Using PowerShell with the following command :

Import-Module Servermanager
Add-WindowsFeature NLB

That’s it for the installation of the NLB feature.

Setting up the NLB

This is quite easy as well, just log on one of the two Receiver Storefront server and follow the next screenshots :


And then add the second Receiver Storefront server :

and here you are, your Receiver Storefront is available through the address we define during the setup and you can test the high availability but powering of one server.

This is cheap this is easy and if you need a fast and reliable solution I will recommend this one.

Be aware !

Remember with Receiver Storefront now, there is also another component you need to make high available, this is the database which store apps subscription for users.

If you don’t have an appliance to load balance your Receiver Storefront servers, if your servers are virtual, you can use the hypervisor high availability instead of using the Microsoft NLB, your choice !

Sources :
Overview of the Network Load Balancing : [link]

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