In addition to hardware and software load balancers, framework tools are available that pull together additional functionality so that you have a central toolset for managing your web farm. Microsoft has two framework solutions: Web Farm Framework and Windows Azure Services.

Web Farm Framework

The Microsoft Web Farm Framework (WFF) is a module add-on to IIS that adds considerable new functionality to your web farm, making it much easier to manage servers, application installs, load balancers, and more. Some features of interest include:

  • Server provisioning—WFF keeps track of all product installations on the server so that at any time you can provision entire servers with almost no effort, often called elastic scale. The provisioning process takes an available server with just the operating system installed and brings it up to the same status as the existing web servers.
  • Application provisioning—WFF seamlessly rolls out application installations across a web farm by taking servers out of rotation one by one, installing the application, and then adding the servers back to the web farm again. There is support for provisioning using Web PI applications or using Web Deploy to provision other applications.
  • Content provisioning—WFF also manages the process of provisioning your application content and managing updates.
  • Load-balancing support—WFF has built-in support for ARR and third-party load balancers so that it can manage server and sites for you. This is important for ...

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