These days setting up web servers, deploy websites to them, and then managing them is not a single step process, we can say it is very time consuming process which requires a manual set of task which we have to perform specially when we create a web farm environment.
The Microsoft Web Farm Framework (WFF) 2.0 for IIS 7 provides a very simple way for provisioning and management of multiple servers for system administrators and website hosting providers. System Administrators can easily provision what they did to add the multiple servers, add more than one web servers, and view the up-to-date status of each server when they want to know with a unified user interface. A simple user interface provides more than that, create a new web farm, adds the web servers and can delete the server from the web farm. Additionally we can interact with WFF functionality programmatically by using Web Farm Framework APIs and cmdlets for Windows Powershell is the another option to interact with it.
Let us an example which demonstrate the scenario in which WFF provides a better management tool when installed as IIS component. Suppose we have three servers;
We say Server1 is the primary server and the others are secondary server, so when we create a Web Farm and adds the servers in that farm we specify that the server we added is the primary server. We add other servers but we can add one server as a primary server as I saw in ScottGu post. Now if we create the application pools, websites or even install or update the components on Server1, they would be automatically replicated on the Server2 and Server3 which are basically secondary servers, there is no need to manually update the secondary server. Web Farm Framework takes the responsibility to manage the things in an efficient manner and keeps the status of each server included in WFF.
What is the benefit?
Maximize the efficiency and scalability
Reduces the cost and time
Easy Installation of IIS, ASP.NET
Configuration of custom IIS modules, sites and application pools
Easy setup of web farm with more servers
No downtime with load balancing using free Application Request Routing
Provisioning of up-to-date status of installed servers
Simple and easy server farm management with unified user interface
One step provisioning of added servers to the farm
Support of third party load balancing products
Microsoft aims to provide the ease to system administrator and hosting providers to manage their dedicated and share web servers with low cost with a minimum downtime. No problem how much servers we add or delete. The great thing which admired the WFF is its simplicity and automated way to manage the difficult process with one step provisioning.