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Microsoft Web Farm Framework 2.0


The IIS team recently published the Microsoft Web Farm Framework 2.0 release to the web.  You can learn more about it and download the final V2 release of it here.

What is the Web Farm Framework?

The Microsoft Web Farm Framework is a free, fully supported, Microsoft product that enables you to easily provision and mange a farm of web servers.  It enables you to automate the installation and configuration of platform components across the server farm, and enables you to automatically synchronize and deploy ASP.NET applications across them.
It supports integration with load balancers, and enables you to automate updates across your servers so that your site/application is never down or unavailable to customers (it can automatically pull servers one-at-a-time out of the load balancer rotation, update them, and then inject them back into rotation).
A few months ago I posted a tutorial about the Microsoft Web Farm Framework that demonstrates how to configure and use it.  You can read my tutorial about it here.

New Features Added to the Final V2 Release

This week’s RTW release includes several additional features that were not in the previous beta.  They include:
  • Workflow Builder can be used to define and schedule custom tasks that can be run on all servers in the farm. The tasks can be scheduled to run periodically or can be started manually by an administrator. An example of such task could be a msdeploy command to partially sync web site content.
  • Windows Credential Store support enables you to store the administrator credentials used for server provisioning in a secure Windows Credential Store. This enables an added layer of security when dealing with credentials with the Web Farm Framework.
  • Third party load balancers support via Web Farm Framework extensibility. It is now possible to configure  the Web Farm Framework to integrate with hardware load balancers instead of relying on the (free) IIS Application Request Routing module.
  • Improved support for advanced MSDeploy operations. More MSDeploy features can now be used with the Web Farm Framework for advanced deployment scenarios.
  • Improved support for syncing large amount of files. Several issues related to syncing large amounts of files across web farm nodes have been fixed between the beta and today’s release.
This week’s release also includes many bug fixes and performance optimizations.

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