Can Windows Server 2022 Load Balancer Balance Traffic?

Can Windows Server 2022 Load Balancer Balance Traffic?

Windows Server 2022 is a popular choice amongst companies both large and small since it brings lots of advances and new features to the table. As the newest version of Microsoft’s Windows Server operating system platform, Windows Server 2022 is described as a built-out and advanced version of Windows Server 2019 with a variety of new features. 

New features aside, there is still the matter of performance that must be addressed, whether you are utilizing Windows Server 2022 or an older version of the platform. Namely, there is the issue of accelerating and improving performance using load balancing technology. Network load balancers are an essential, must-have feature in today’s tech landscape. In fact, users and IT professionals alike have come to expect a very high level of performance that is really only achievable with a load balancer. 

Unfortunately, Windows Server 2022 does not come with a pre-installed load balancer, but unlike most other platforms, there is an in-built load balancing solution that can be configured with relative ease. But this leaves many wondering how effectively the Windows Server 2022 load balancer balances traffic that is incoming to its server pool. 

An Overview of Windows Server 2022

Windows Server 2022 is described by Microsoft as bringing “many innovations on three key themes: security, Azure hybrid integration and management, and application platform.” This new edition is packed with updates that include the following. 

  • Several different server versions to choose from. 
  • Expanded networking tools and features.
  • Improved storage capabilities. 
  • Enhanced security measures.
  • Advances in the platform’s Azure-related capabilities.
  • More effective cloud management tools. 

All of these improvements and enhancements on the Azure-compatible Windows Server 2022 platform make it an appealing option for organizations that are in search of an innovative platform. Load balancing is an essential tool for a level of performance that will align with users’ expectations. But how does load balancing work? And how effectively can the in-built Windows Server 2022 load balancer balance traffic?

How Does Windows Server 2022 Load Balancing Work? 

On Windows Server 2022, there is a network load balancer available for configuration as an in-built solution. Also called an NLB, a network load balancer is used to manage incoming traffic to two or more servers in a virtual server pool or  “cluster.” 

Network load balancers are just one type of load balancing solution, but all load balancers operate in the same basic way and bring very similar benefits to the table. These load balancing benefits include improved speed and performance, increased server availability, better reliability with fewer instances of downtime and better user experience. 

The Windows Server 2022 network load balancer works by intercepting incoming server traffic using a hub server. The central server evaluates the server requests based upon a predetermined load balancing algorithm. This algorithm is used to determine how the server requests are handled and distributed to the cluster. In the case of Windows Server 2022, the network load balancer uses a TCP/IP networking protocol to evaluate incoming client requests. 

The central “hub” server also sends queries to the servers within the virtual cluster to evaluate server health and availability. These server health checks are extremely effective at minimizing server errors, slowdowns and even downtime as a result of server crashes. 

Does the Windows Server 2022 Load Balancer Balance Traffic Effectively?

When it comes to overall performance and efficiency, the Windows Server 2022 network load balancer balances traffic fairly effectively. This NLB can be described as more of a general purpose load balancer that is designed specifically for the Windows Server platform. Since it was developed by Microsoft with Windows Server 2022 in mind, the in-built NLB is very well suited to the platform. This translates into streamlined performance at all levels. 

Configuring and deploying the Windows Server 2022 load balancer is also a bit easier than what one might experience if they were to go with a third-party load balancing solution. Windows’ in-built network load balancer can be configured with relative ease. 

The following is a brief overview of the process for Windows Server 2022 load balancer set-up and as you will see, it is relatively straightforward. 

  • Enable the network load balancer’s GUI. 
  • Install the NLB’s PowerShell.
  • Create a virtual server cluster. 
  • Add a host to the server cluster. 
  • Perform testing and verification measures to ensure the load balancer configuration is correct.

Generally speaking, most experienced IT professionals will have the expertise and knowledge required to perform the set-up process and deploy this load balancing solution. 

Other Options and Considerations for Load Balancing Windows Server 2022

While the in-built network load balancer is suitable for most Windows Server 2022 users, there are some cases where this NLB may fall short, failing to meet an organization’s needs. In these cases, it may make sense to explore other load balancing options (and there are many, many choices to consider.)

It is certainly possible to use a third-party load balancer on Windows Server 2022. A third-party load balancing solution may represent the better option for those who have unique requirements. The best companies offering load balancer solutions can even consult with a company’s tech team, providing a recommendation for the best LB solution for their Windows Server 2022 platform. 

Finding the ideal load balancer for Windows Server 2022 — or any other platform, for that matter — can be tremendously challenging, even for the most experienced tech team. But the effort invested will be well worthwhile because the right load balancing solution will boost performance, among other benefits. 

At Resonate, we specialize in providing reliable, cost-effective load balancing technology to clients who are using a variety of different technologies and platforms. We are proud of our commitment to delivering exceptional performance, maximum uptime, and tremendous scalability. There is even potential for significant profitability with a healthy ROI. Contact the Resonate team today. Let’s discuss your objectives and load balancing needs and we will work to help you find the perfect technology for your organization’s needs.