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MCSE 70-226 Study Guide

Designing Highly Available Web Solutions with Microsoft Windows 2000 Server Technologies

This exam tests your ability to design Web solutions that incorporate Microsoft Windows 2000 Server technologies. The expected scenarios have the following characteristics:

  • Concurrent client connections that can exceed 1,000
  • Transactional applications
  • User databases, such as LDAP server or directory service
  • Internet security, such as firewalls, secure protocols, or proxy servers
  • High availability services that can include Network Load Balancing (NLB), Component Load Balancing (CLB), Cluster service, and Microsoft Application Center 2000

When you pass this exam, you achieve Microsoft Certified Professional status. You also earn credit toward the following certifications:

  • Core or elective credit toward Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer on Microsoft Windows 2000 certification

A lot of the information in this study guide is useful for the 70-223 exam as well. You should study both before attempting the exam.

Key Concepts


  • a measure with a range from 0 to 100 percent
  • about fault tolerance of a computer and its programs
  • 24 hours a day, 7 days a week is the goal


  • departure from expected behavior
  • can include behavior that moves outside of the defined performance parameters
  • possible types of failures can cause system outages:
    • software failures
    • hardware failures
    • network failures
    • operational failures
    • environmental failures

Fault tolerance

  • the ability to continue functioning when part of the system fails
  • problems can include:
    • disk failures
    • power outages
    • corrupted operating systems


  • the ability to make changes to the system easily
  • management disciplines include:
u        change and configuration management
u        security management
u        performance management
u        problem management
u        event management
u        batch/output management
u        storage management
  • measure of the time that elapses between system failures
  • hardware and software components have different failure characteristics
  • can use formulas that based on historical data exist to predict hardware reliability
  • hard to find formulas for predicting software reliability


  • measure of how well a system can expand to meet increasing performance demands

  • often refers to the ability to incrementally add systems to an existing server cluster

Fundamental strategies for high availability

  • Prepare well documented and appropriate operational procedures
  • Prepare enough capacity to handle processing loads.
  • Reduce the probability of failure:
u        use architecture based on redundant, load-balanced servers
u        review code to avoid potential problems such as buffer overflows, infinite loops, code crashes, and openings for security attacks
N-Tier architecture

According to,

"N-tier application architecture provides a model for developers to create a flexible and reusable application. By breaking up an application into tiers, developers only have to modify or add a specific layer, rather than have to rewrite the enitire application over, if they decide to change technologies or scale up. In the term "N-tier," "N" implies any number -- like 2-tier, or 4-tier; basically, any number of distinct tiers used in your architecture."

Architectural elements:

  • Clients - issue service requests to the server hosting the application
  • Front-end systems - servers that provide core application services
  • Back-end systems - servers hosting the data stores used by the front-end systems


Infrastructure Strategies


  • for security purpose, use a different domain name for your internal and external namespaces

  • you can use the same name internally and externally, a the expense of configuration problems and increasing administrative overhead.

Internet connection

  • the first step in modifying the network topology to increase availability is to add a redundant connection to the Internet

Cluster Management

  • Configure an independent management subnet for connecting to each cluster

DHCP high availability without clustering

  • set up a primary DHCP server and a backup DHCP server
  • use the 80/20 rule to divide scope addresses between the DHCP servers
u        primary server receives about 80 percent of the available addresses
u        backup server receives about 20 percent of the available addresses
Server hardware
  • Each server should have the following redundant components:
u        NICs
u        Cooling fans
u        Power supplies
u        Disk controllers
  • server room should have a room temperature about 70 F (21 C)
  • server room should have a proper amount of humidity maintained
  • server room should be kept clean.
  • for a data storage system that is fault tolerant and data centralized, use Storage area network (SAN):
u        high-speed subnetwork of shared storage devices
u        storage device - machine that contains nothing but only disks for storing data
u        all storage devices are available to all servers on a LAN or WAN
u        stored data does not reside directly on any of a network's servers
u        server merely acts as a pathway between the end user and the stored data.
  • individual server should consider to use RAID.

According to, RAID is

"Short for Redundant Array of Independent (or Inexpensive) Disks, a category of disk drives that employ two or more drives in combination for fault tolerance and performance. RAID disk drives are used frequently on servers but aren't generally necessary for personal computers."

RAID capable of fault tolerance are:

  • Level 1: disk mirroring
u        data is written to two duplicate disks simultaneously
u        if one of the disk drives fails, the system can instantly switch to the other disk
u        prevent any loss of data or service
u        limited scalability
u        slower write performance
u        does not use space efficiently
  • Level 5: data striping at the byte level and also stripe error correction information.

Application Center 2000

  • Maintains high level of web service availability
  • Allows Web site administrators to group Windows 2000 Server computers into clusters for easy management
  • Divides Web site content and code into applications that can be updated independently. each server in the cluster hosts a copy of the application,
  • Application Center does the synchronization
  • Support clusters made of Windows 2000 Server computers



Cluster services For administering the cluster configuration via wizards or GUI.
Load balancing Integrated NLB and CLB.
Synchronization and deployment System settings, content, and applications are replicated either automatically or on demand.
Monitoring Real-time event, performance, and health monitoring.
Programmatic support Scripting support for performing common Application Center management tasks.
Local and remote administration Administration via local access or through secure remote connection.
High availability Requests and transactions are automatically rerouted to another member in case of server failure.

Server cluster and NLB

  • Primary clustering scenarios
u        Single-node clusters
u        Standard Web clusters
u        COM+ applications clusters
  • Single-node configuration
u        organize resources for administrative convenience
u        use virtual servers
u        restart applications automatically
u        can easily create a cluster later
u        no failover
  • Active/passive configuration
u        maximum availability for your resources
u        requires expensive investment in hardware
u        should the primary node fails, the secondary node immediately picks up all operations
u        best suited for those applications and resources that must maintain the highest availability
  • Active/active configuration
u        high availability when both nodes are online
u        high performance when both nodes are online
u        reliable and acceptable performance when one node is online
u        services remain available during and after failover although performance can decrease
  • Cluster service can manage:
u        Server cluster networks
u        Network interfaces
u        Nodes
u        Resource groups
u        Resources
  • Resource groups:
u        logical collections of resources
u        made up of logically related resources, such as applications and their associated peripherals and data
  • Resource:
u        any physical or logical component that can be brought online and taken offline
u        can be managed in a server cluster
u        can be owned by only one node at a time
u        when planning the resource groups for a cluster on your network,
u        you should list the dependencies for each resource
u        dependency list should include all resources that support the core resource.
  • Running applications on NLB
u        NLB can scale any application or service that uses TCP/IP
u        the application must be designed to allow multiple instances to run simultaneously
u        don't use NLB to directly scale applications that independently update inter-client state data
u        IIS is an ideal application to run on NLB
u        SQL Server and Exchange Server should not be run on the NLB cluster because they independently update inter-client state data. You should use the Cluster service for them instead.
  • NLB modes:
u        Single network adapter in unicast mode:
l          works with all routers
l          ordinary network communication among hosts isn't possible
l          network performance may be compromised.

u        Multiple network adapters in unicast mode:

l          works with all routers
l          ordinary network communication among hosts is possible
l          network performance may be enhanced
l          at least two network adapters are required.
u        Single network adapter in multicast mode:
l          Only one network adapter is required
l          ordinary network communication among hosts is possible
l          network performance may suffer
l          some routers may not support multicast MAC address
u        Multiple network adapters in multicast mode:
l          Performance may be enhanced
l          ordinary network communication among hosts is possible
l          at least two network adapters are required
l          some routers may not support multicast MAC address
  • NLB Single affinity
u        NLB pins a client to a particular host without setting a timeout limit
u        mapping is in effect until the cluster set changes
u        in a large site with multiple proxy servers a client can appear to come from different IP addresses
  • NLB Class C affinity
u        all clients within a given Class C address space will map to a given cluster host
u        does not address situations in which proxy servers are placed across Class C address spaces
  • NLB Client affinity
u        when enabled, NLB directs all TCP connections from one client IP address to the same cluster host
u        allows session state to be maintained in host memory
u        should a server or network fail, a new logon is likely required to reauthenticate the client and reestablish the session state


  • an Application Center feature
  • provides dynamic load balancing for COM+ application components
  • to enable CLB, an Application Center COM+ application cluster must activate components when requests are received
  • Application Center Web cluster and COM+ routing cluster are the same in terms of functionality - both support CLB and can route requests to a COM+ application cluster.
  • scenarios suitable for CLB:
u        You want to segregate COM objects behind an additional firewall.
u        You want to run large COM objects on the fastest servers available.
u        You're using NLB for your front-end servers and you need to route component requests to a back-end COM+ server
  • COM
u        Component Object Model
u        A model for binary code
u        Developed by Microsoft
u        Allows programmers to develop objects that can be accessed by any COM-compliant application
u        OLE, ActiveX and many other new web technologies are based on COM.
u        COM+ is the next generation of COM

Multiserver environment for running applications

  • Benefits:
u        Supports a unified namespace.
u        You can isolate back-end servers from attacks.
u        You can isolate processing tasks.
u        Gives room to scale out and make fault tolerant.

Capacity Planning

  • Factors are important to capacity planning:

u        network traffic
u        performance
u        availability
u        scalability
  • Traffic
u        interchange of incoming requests and outgoing responses between two points
u        often unpredictable
u        often occurs in bursts and clumps
u        to determine the maximum rate of pages per second that your network can support, divide the bits per second of the network connection by the bits generated for the page request.
  • Server's capacity is not the only factor to consider when determining bandwidth limitations
  • Client computer is limited by its connection to the Internet.
  • Web applications performance is critical in determining the site's capacity.

  • Testing helps you find out the capacity and performance of a Web application.
  • WCAT and WAST are utilities for testing web application performance.

When you plan your infrastructure, always take into account the capacity of the internet link! Know the size of your web pages. Compare the sizes with the available bandwidths and determine whether additional capacity is needed!

Connection Type

Connection Speed in theory

Dedicated Point-to-Point Protocol/ Serial Line Internet Protocol (PPP/SLIP) using a modem 28.8 Kbps
Frame Relay or fast modem 56 Kbps
Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) 128 Kbps
Typical digital subscriber line (DSL) 640 Kbps
Digital signal level 1 (DS1)/T1 1.536 Mbps
10-Mb Ethernet 8 Mbps  
Digital signal level 3 (DS3)/T3 44.736 Mbps
Optical carrier 1 (OC1) 51.844 Mbps
100-Mb Ethernet 80 Mbps
Optical carrier 3 (OC3) 155.532 Mbps
Optical carrier 12 (OC12) 622.128 Mbps
1-Gbps Ethernet 800 Mbps


  • IIS authentication models:
u        Anonymous
u        Basic
u        Integrated Windows
u        Digest
u        Client certificate mapping
  • Anonymous access
u        allows all Web clients to access a site
u        works with most browsers
u        uses the IUSR_computername account to provide anonymous users with the right to log on locally
u        no authentication
u        if password synchronization is enabled, Anonymous access can't access remote resources
  • Basic authentication
u        requires that a user provide credentials in order to log on
u        Users must have local logon rights to the Web server
u        passwords are not securely encrypted
u        you can use Basic authentication along with SSL for better security
  • Integrated Windows authentication
u        more secure than Basic authentication
u        supports NTLM authentication
u        supports Kerberos authentication
u        cannot be used through proxy server connections
u        support only the later versions of IE
  • Digest authentication
u        encrypts passwords before transmission
u        can be used through proxy server connections
u        supported only for Windows 2000 domains
u        support only the later versions of IE
u        requires Active Directory.
  • Client certificate mapping
u        authenticate users by mapping certificates to Windows 2000 user accounts
u        two types of certificate mapping: one-to-one and one-to-many.
u        very scalable
u        very secure
u        not easy to configure
u        not all browsers support it
  • SSL

u        an Internet standard commonly used to encrypt data.
u        applications that use SSL must be SSL-aware
u        supports authentication through the use of public key certificates
u        requires considerable processor resources
  • IPSec

u        works at the IP layer of the TCP/IP protocol stack
u        transparent to most applications
u        offers a high level of protection for most applications and services
u        requires more processor power than SSL.
u        supports authentication through:
  • Kerberos
  • public key certificates
  • preshared key values
u        computers on both ends of the communication link:
  • must be configured with Windows 2000
  • must have IPSec security policies defined
  • EFS
u        for protecting sensitive data stored on a local disk
u        does not protect data transmitted over a network
u        does not protect remotely stored data

Measuring availability

Bandwidth usage n          peak bandwidth use

n          idle bandwidth use

n          how usage increases

Network availability n          use ICMP echo pings to check availability
System availability n          Monitor normal and abnormal shutdowns of the system.
HTTP availability n          Monitor HTTP requests that are:

u        issued internally

u        issued from the ISP networks

u        issued from different geographic locations around the globe

Performance metrics n          number of visits

n          latency of requests for set of operations and page groups

n          CPU utilization

n          disk storage

n          disk I/O

n          fiber channel loop bandwidth

n          memory usage


Reference Books

McSe Designing Windows 2000 Web Solutions Study Guide : Exam 70-226

Inc. Syngress Media (Editor); Paperback

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