Microsoft Load balancing 2 servers with DNS

Aug 14, 2006
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FYI I am not very skilled with running servers so please assume that I'm a moron (though I do catch on quickly)! Please give long-winded answers wit hlots of detail.

I currently run a single Win2003 server, running IIS, DNS, MSSQL. All work in conjunction for a specialized web hosting service that I provide.
I just purchased a second identical server to use for backup and failover. I was about to purchase a High Availabilty software solution that will back up the primary to the secondary in real-time and failover should the first server fail. However after reading more on Windows own Load Balancing solution, I got to thinking that this could work and be less expensive. However I cannot find any information on the following questions I have.

1. Can I run Microsoft DNS on both servers in a Load Balanced scenario or do I need a third server to run DNS separately?

1a. If I can run DNS on both servers, then how to a I keep server 2's DNS records up to date with server 1's DNS records (does not need to be in real time)?

1b. Right now my primary server's public IP address is the IP for my name server. My clients use this nameserver to point their domain names to us. In the load balanced environment, I understand that the each computer is assigned the same virtual IP address, how does this affect my name server set up. Would I change my nameserver to point to this new virtual IP address that both machines share? And then update all my DNS A records to the same? Please be specific here as I cannot make a change that would cause 900 + websites to fail.

2. My webservice allows users to upload their own files to the web server, how can I make sure that files that are be uploading only land on the primary server?

3. Can I run Microsoft SQL on both servers, forcing all updates to occur on the primary instance?

4. When setting up load balancing, what would I need to be careful of, so as not to disrupt my active websites?

Much appreciated.

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