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Intranet DASHBOARD Load- Balancing Setup Guide

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					                        Intranet DASHBOARD
                 Load-Balancing Setup Guide




INTRANET. EXTRANET. PORTAL.
   www.intranetdashboard.com
Table of Contents


1       INTRODUCTION AND PURPOSE ......................................................................................................................3

2       PREREQUISITES ................................................................................................................................................4

    2.1       Pre-Installation Requirements ......................................................................................................................4
3       LOAD-BALANCING SETUP GUIDE ...................................................................................................................5

    3.1       Intranet DASHBOARD Instance Installation .................................................................................................5
    3.2       Create Session State Database ...................................................................................................................6
    3.3       Set Intranet DASHBOARD Configuration Settings .......................................................................................6
    3.4       Statistics ........................................................................................................................................................7
CONCLUSION ..............................................................................................................................................................8




                                                   INTRANET. EXTRANET. PORTAL.
                                                             www.intranetdashboard.com
                                                                                 Page 2 of 8
1    Introduction and Purpose


This guide provides information on the steps required to install Intranet DASHBOARD (iD) in a load-balanced
environment. It is designed for the technical staff who will install the software and configure the load balancing
configuration.



Steps involved in setting up iD for a load-balanced environment include:

    •   Installing the iD instances

    •   Creating a session state database

    •   Setting some configuration settings in Intranet DASHBOARD to enable load balancing



A general load balanced configuration will consist of 2 web servers (of equal processing power), SQL database and
load balancing device. The load balancing device may be either a dedicated hardware load balancer or software
based load balancer.




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                                          www.intranetdashboard.com
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2     Prerequisites



2.1    Pre-Installation Requirements

Intranet DASHBOARD load-balancing requires appropriate load balancing hardware providing load balancing
between multiple web servers or servers with MS Windows NLB enabled.

Please note that a separate license file is required for each instance of Intranet DASHBOARD operating as part of
a load-balanced installation. Please contact iD Support if you require further information regarding licensing in a
load-balanced environment (support@intranetdashboard.com).




                                   INTRANET. EXTRANET. PORTAL.
                                         www.intranetdashboard.com
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3     Load-Balancing Setup Guide
3.1     Intranet DASHBOARD Instance Installation

In order to implement load-balancing, two instances of Intranet DASHBOARD must be installed on different web
servers. For instructions on installing iD see the Technical Installation Guide on the Intranet DASHBOARD help
website (http://help.intranetdashboard.com).

IMPORTANT: Please note the following when installing iD for a load-balanced setup:



      1. Each instance of iD must use a Database Filestore as the filestore type.



      2. Each instance of iD must use exactly the same Host Header value on the “Setup Web Server” step of
          installation. This is needed to for the iD website and the search website.



      3. When installing the first instance of iD enter the appropriate details for the iD database and filestore
          database that your load-balanced installation will use. When installing the second iD instance choose a
          different database name and take note of it. After installation of the second iD instance is complete the
          databases created during the second iD installation can be deleted as they will not be used.


          When iD is configured to use a database filestore three databases are created:

          •   Main iD database

          •   Search database

          •   Filestore database



          Each will be created with the same name, with -Search or -FileStore appended to the name for the search
          and filestore databases.
          For example, if the first instance was installed with a database called iDIntranet and the second instance
          was installed with a database called iDIntranet2 after installation of the second iD instance was complete
          the iDIntranet2, iDIntranet2-Search and iDIntranet2-FileStore databases can all be deleted.



      4. Enterprise Search includes a windows service that is installed onto the web server this service can’t be
          load balanced. The service will need to be stopped on all servers but one.

              •   Open services locate “iD Search (intranet name)”

              •   Stop the service and set Startup type to Disabled.




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                                                        Page 5 of 8
      In the case that the server with the indexer stops running, to start indexing again from another server simple
      start the service. You cannot have the service running on two different servers if this occurs you may need to
      re-index your content. Side effects of running the indexer on more than once server are a slower database
      and errors will appear in your search log.



3.2   Create Session State Database

Because web requests to a load-balanced iD installation may be handled by different web servers session state
information must be stored in a database rather than on the web servers. Instructions and SQL scripts to create a
session state database can be found in the following Microsoft Knowledge Base article:

HOW TO: Configure ASP.NET for Persistent SQL Server Session State Management
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/317604/

If your organization runs multiple load-balanced sites using the same database server it will be necessary to slightly
modify the SQL scripts downloaded from the above link to rename the session state database. The default name
of the session state database is ASPState, however this should be changed to a name unique to your installed iD
instance. For example, if your iD instance is called iDIntranet the session state database could be named
iDIntranetState.

In order to rename the session state database, simply replace all references in the SQL scripts to the ASPState
database with the name you wish to use before running the scripts.

Once the SQL scripts have been modified they should be run on the database server to create the session state
database.



3.3   Set Intranet DASHBOARD Configuration Settings



After installing both instances of iD and creating the session state database a number of changes need to be made
to the configuration of each iD instance to enable them to work together as a single load-balanced installation.

The following changes should be made to the web.config files in the root folder of your iD sites and also the root
folder of the iD search site. The web.config files in both iD instances must be identical, so the best approach is to
make all the required changes to the web.config file of the first installed iD instance and then copy that file into the
corresponding folder in the second instance.

The required changes to the web.config file are as follows:



1. Check the database connection string – Locate the <appSettings> section in the web.config file and find
   the <add key="DB_CONNECTION_STRING" value="..." /> tag. Confirm that the value in this tag corresponds
   to the database connection string of the iD database you will be using.



                                    INTRANET. EXTRANET. PORTAL.
                                          www.intranetdashboard.com
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2. Create additional settings - Locate the <appSettings> section in the web.config file and insert the following
   tags:
      •     <add key="PRIMARY_HOSTNAME" value="..."/> Set the value of this tag to be the same as the host
            header value set for the iD sites during installation, including http:// at the start and ending with /. For
            example, if the host header is set to idintranet.mycompany.com the value of this tag should be
            http://idintranet.mycompany.com/.
      •     <add key="INSTANCE_IDENTIFIER" value="..." /> Set the value of this tag to be exactly the same as
            the host header value set for the iD sites during installation. For example, idintranet.mycompany.com.

3. Create machineKey setting - Locate the <system.web> section in the web.config file and insert a
      <machineKey> tag, as described in the following Microsoft Knowledge Base article:


      How to create keys by using Visual Basic .NET for use in Forms authentication
      http://support.microsoft.com/kb/313091/en-us


      When creating the machine key the number of bytes used to create the decryption key should be 8 (resulting in
      a 16 byte string) and the number of bytes used to create the validation key should be 24 (resulting in a 48 byte
      string).


      If you require assistance with this step please contact iD Support for further information
      (support@intranetdashboard.com).



4. Configure session state - Locate the <system.web> section in the web.config file and find the
   <sessionState> tag. Replace the <sessionState> tag with the value below, and populate the database
   settings (highlighted in red below) with values corresponding to the session state database created in Step 2.
   If you chose to modify the session state database name in Step 2 enter that name instead of ASPState.

      <sessionState mode="SQLServer" allowCustomSqlDatabase="true" sqlConnectionString="Data
      Source=[server name];database=ASPState; Network Library=Dbmssocn; User Id=[username];
      Password=[password];" cookieless="false" timeout="30" />



When you have made these changes to the web.config file save the file and then copy it to the website root folder
of the second iD instance.

Repeat the above steps for the web.config file within your iD Search website also.



3.4       Statistics

Statistics based on IIS log files should only be run on one web server when using a load-balanced setup. For
further information please contact iD Support (support@intranetdashboard.com).




                                      INTRANET. EXTRANET. PORTAL.
                                             www.intranetdashboard.com
                                                          Page 7 of 8
Conclusion
This concludes the iD Load-Balancing Setup guide. For further information please visit the Intranet DASHBOARD
help website at http://help.intranetdashboard.com




                                INTRANET. EXTRANET. PORTAL.
                                      www.intranetdashboard.com
                                                    Page 8 of 8

				
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