IIS Shared Configuration – Week 28

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IIS 7 (and 7.5) offers an extremely useful and easy to use feature for
shared web farm situations, called Shared Configuration. This week walks
through how to setup IIS Shared configuration, along with a few
considerations necessary to administer a web farm situation.



  • I have a different scenario in mind: I want to allow multiple IIS servers to use a shared config, but not have the changes made to one to immediately replicate to any other. I'd like to store the common, currently working, applicationhost.config in a remote unc location, make a change to one server, test it, then copy the applicationhost.config from the tested server to the remote location, then deploy it to the rest of the servers in the farm.

  • As others had said, thanks indeed for this very nice video (and series). I do have a question/concern, Scott.

    You shared a valuable caution about settings stored in web.config vs applicationhost.config, that only the latter are synched by this feature. Many could be burned by this, if they didn't notice (as you show) that some settings changed in IIS are saved to the web.config and NOT the applicationhost.config.

    That said, you showed first changing the authentication feature for a site, and in your case it WAS synched, then you showed your example of changing the compression, and you showed that it would be saved to the web.config and would NOT be synched.

    But when I tried this myself, I find that my interface (that status info on the bottom left) shows that even changing the authentication for a site is saved to the web.config. Scott, might you know anything to explain the difference we see? (FWIW, I saw this on both on both IIS 7.5/Win2k8R2 and IIS 10/Windows 10.)

    Granted, as long as the web.config's ARE being synched (along with all site content) some other way (like DFS as you mention), it's not that critical a difference, but in case some might hope to rely solely on this and not that, it's a subtlety that seems worth understanding.

  • NZ

    Nicely done and a nice pace too – not too slow to make it boring for professionals, who already have an idea and not too fast to confuse and overwhelm.

    I have a similar configuration for a fail-over cluster with a shared disk array and I keep the web contents and shared config files on that disk array. A little different scenario, but the same concept in terms of shared IIS config. The only problem with that is that you can't deploy/import apps to IIS when using the shared config.

  • I've just set up a 2 node web cluster incorporating DFSR and came here out of interest.
    This is the most complete guide I've seen (and matches my own work almost point for point). An excellent job and a brilliant guide for IIS admins needing to know how to put this solution together.

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