Microsoft Web Farm Framework, a Tool for Automating Operations Across a Server Farm

| by Abel Avram Follow 5 Followers on Sep 09, 2010. Estimated reading time: 1 minute |

A note to our readers: You asked so we have developed a set of features that allow you to reduce the noise: you can get email and web notifications for topics you are interested in. Learn more about our new features.

Microsoft Web Farm Framework (WFF) is a free IIS plug-in used to provision and manage systems in a web server farm, enabling the installation and configuration of software components across the farm plus support for automated deployment of ASP.NET applications. WFF can be integrated with load balancers, and can be configured to update the servers in the farm without taking down the entire site by pulling down and updating one server at a time.

Scott Guthrie, a Corporate VP at Microsoft, has written a detailed explanation of what WFF is an how it can be used. WFF can be used to perform all the tasks involved in provisioning and managing servers in a farm, saving the operations personal from performing many manual steps such as:

  • Installing IIS, ASP.NET and all of the core platform components on the servers
  • Installing and configuring custom IIS modules (UrlRewite, Media Services, etc)
  • Configuring IIS Application Pools and Sites
  • Setting up SSL certificates for things like HTTPs endpoints
  • Copying and synchronizing the appropriate sites/applications/content across the various boxes
  • Coordinating the various web servers with a HTTP load balancer to distribute load

WFF allows an operator to install IIS, ASP.NET, SSL certificates and configure a new IIS Application Pool on one server, then duplicating the configuration made to the other systems. Application provisioning works the same way, i.e. an application is installed once on one server then WFF replicates it across all servers.

WFF can be further automated with Windows PowerShell cmdlets including creating a server farm, adding/removing servers, setting up applications, and starting/stopping a certain server.

The servers in the farm need to have Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2008 R2 installed. IIS 7 or IIS 7.5 is also needed on the controller server.

Rate this Article

Adoption Stage

Hello stranger!

You need to Register an InfoQ account or or login to post comments. But there's so much more behind being registered.

Get the most out of the InfoQ experience.

Tell us what you think

Allowed html: a,b,br,blockquote,i,li,pre,u,ul,p

Email me replies to any of my messages in this thread
Community comments

Allowed html: a,b,br,blockquote,i,li,pre,u,ul,p

Email me replies to any of my messages in this thread

Allowed html: a,b,br,blockquote,i,li,pre,u,ul,p

Email me replies to any of my messages in this thread


Login to InfoQ to interact with what matters most to you.

Recover your password...


Follow your favorite topics and editors

Quick overview of most important highlights in the industry and on the site.


More signal, less noise

Build your own feed by choosing topics you want to read about and editors you want to hear from.


Stay up-to-date

Set up your notifications and don't miss out on content that matters to you