We use cookies on our website to ensure we provide you with the best experience on our website. By using our website, you agree to the use of cookies for analytics and personalized content.This website uses cookies. More Information
It seems like your browser didn't download the required fonts. Please revise your security settings and try again.
Barracuda Load Balancer ADC

Deploying DSR in a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 or 2008 Environment

  • Last updated on

This article refers to the Barracuda Load Balancer ADC and Microsoft® Windows Server® 2003 and 2008.

To prepare servers running Microsoft Windows Server 2003 or Windows Server 2008 for Direct Server Return (DSR), complete the following steps for each server.

Step 1. Disable the Loopback Adapter

By default, the Windows firewall blocks all connections to the loopback adapter. To enable traffic to the loopback adapter, disable the built-in firewall or manually change the rules to enable traffic to and from the loopback adapter.

Step 2. Install the Loopback Adapter

Windows Server 2003

For instructions on installing the Microsoft Loopback Adapter for Windows Server 2003, see How to install the Microsoft Loopback Adapter in Microsoft Windows Server 2003.

Windows Server 2008

For instructions on installing the Microsoft KM-TEST Loopback Adapter for Windows Server 2003, see Installing the Microsoft Loopback Adapter in Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012.

"Microsoft Loopback Adapter" is renamed as "Microsoft KM-TEST Loopback Adapter" in Windows 2008 and Windows Server 2012.

Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2008 R2

To install the Microsoft loopback adapter for Windows Server 2008:

  1. Open Device Manager. On the Start menu, click Run and type devmgmt*.msc at the prompt.
  2. Right-click the server name and select Add legacy hardware.
  3. When you are prompted by the wizard, select Install the hardware that I manually select from a list (Advanced).
  4. Find Network Adapter in the list, and click Next.
  5. From the list of manufacturers, select Microsoft and Microsoft Loopback Adapter. A new network interface is added to your server.
     
    screenshot01.jpg

Step 3. (Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2008 R2 Only) Implement the Weak Host Model

If you are using Windows Server 2003, you can skip to Step 4 Add the Loopback Adapter to your Site Bindings.

If you are using Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2008 R2, implement the Windows networking stack with the weak host model (which is the same model used in Windows Server 2003).

DSR works by modifying the destination MAC address of the incoming traffic to one of the real servers behind your VIP address. In versions of Windows prior to 2008, the Windows networking stack used a weak host model which allowed the host to receive packets on an interface that is not assigned as the destination IP address of the packet being received. With Windows Server 2008, Microsoft implemented a strong host model which breaks the method that DSR uses.

  1. Open a command prompt with elevated permissions. To determine the interface ID for both the loopback adapter and the main NIC on the server, type:
    netsh interface ipv4 show interface
  2. Note the IDX for both the main network interface and the loopback adapter that you created. If you have not changed the interface names for this server then usually the main NIC displays as Local Area Connection, and the loopback adapter is named Local Area Connection 2.
  3. An entry appears with the IDX numbers for both your loopback adapter and your Internet facing NIC. For each of these adapters enter the following commands:

    netsh interface ipv4 set interface <idx> weakhostreceive=enabled netsh interface ipv4 set interface weakhostsend=enabled netsh interface ipv4 set interface <idx> weakhostreceive=enabled

    For example:

    netsh interface ipv4 set interface 23 weakhostreceive=enabled netsh interface ipv4 set interface 24 weakhostsend=enabled netsh interface ipv4 set interface 24 weakhostreceive=enabled

Step 4. Add the Loopback Adapter to your Site Bindings (IIS only)

By default, IIS includes all interfaces. However, if a site is bound to an individual IP address, include the IP address for the loopback adapter (your VIP address) in the site bindings in IIS. 

To bind the loopback adapter:

  1. Open the Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager.
  2. In the Connections pane, expand the Sites node in the tree.
  3. Click Default Web Site or the name of the site that  you are modifying.
  4. In the Actions pane, click Bindings.
  5. In the Site Bindings window, click Add.
    Screen shot IIS.png
  6. In the Add Site Binding window, select the type of site and then enter the IP address and port of your loopback adapter.
  7. Click OK to add the site binding.
    site bindings2.jpg 
  8. In the Actions pane, click Restart under Manage Web Site to ensure that the new binding takes effect.

Step 5. Verify Direct Server Return Deployment

Ping the real servers and the VIP address, and telnet to the real servers. If the ping does not work or the connection is refused, then the loopback adapter has not been configured correctly.

Verify that the loopback adapters are non-ARPing. On either Linux or Windows systems, use the arp -a command. Also, view the systems event logs to check for IP address conflicts.

If the client cannot access the application after the service is set up, then the IIS (Windows) or application has not been associated with the real IP address and the VIP address.

Last updated on