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  • Load balancing

    Hi there,

    I've got a website served with three web servers and a single database server. Currently we're behind our hosting centre's large and expensive hardware load balancer.

    As we are currently considering switching to another hosting centre, we might get the responsibility for the load balancing ourselves in the future. Therefore, I'm currently researching the different possibilities within load balancing.

    I see the following to solutions:
    1) A software based load balancer.
    We buy a new cheap server on which we install apache with mod_proxy_balancer (recommendations on other software are welcome). This server will point to our other web servers. What is the typical bottleneck on a machine like this? Cpu?
    2) Buy a "real" hardware load balancer.
    I consider this the best solution based on what I've heard from other people's experiences. However, this is also a bit more expensive I think. Can you recommend some good brands/models?

    What do you think of the above proposed solution? What would you recommend? The more details you can give me the better )

    Thanks in advance!

  • #2
    Hi,

    I can recommend you using Pfsense: http://pfsense.org/
    It is a software router/firewall/balancer based on FreeBSD. It is configured through web interface. We have a wide experience of using Pfsense, and it works fine.

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi razdaman

      I think you can use haproxy for load balancer software or squid with mode reverse.

      I was used both haproxy and squid. It's very good for your problem

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi razdaman,

        you could also give a try to Varnish : http://varnish.projects.linpro.no/.

        It does Load Balancing and is a fantastic HTTP accelerator.

        Here is a example on how to configure Varnish to do load balancing : http://varnish.projects.linpro.no/wiki/VCLExampleDirector

        )

        Comment


        • #5
          jerome wrote on Thu, 30 April 2009 18:46

          Hi razdaman,

          you could also give a try to Varnish : http://varnish.projects.linpro.no/.

          It does Load Balancing and is a fantastic HTTP accelerator.

          Here is a example on how to configure Varnish to do load balancing : http://varnish.projects.linpro.no/wiki/VCLExampleDirector

          )


          I won't recommend it for production yet. Maybe a bit later..

          Comment


          • #6
            debug wrote on Thu, 30 April 2009 15:36


            I won't recommend it for production yet. Maybe a bit later..


            Can you please explain this a bit more ?

            )

            Comment


            • #7
              jerome wrote on Thu, 30 April 2009 21:28

              debug wrote on Thu, 30 April 2009 15:36


              I won't recommend it for production yet. Maybe a bit later..


              Can you please explain this a bit more ?

              )



              It was a few months ago, I don't remember details already.. We used it on highly loaded production, and there were multiple issues..

              Comment


              • #8
                debug wrote on Thu, 30 April 2009 16:47


                It was a few months ago, I don't remember details already.. We used it on highly loaded production, and there were multiple issues..


                Maybe it was a bit after the 2.0 version was released there were some annoying issues which are now fixed if I remember well.

                I already deployed Varnish on a few overloaded production site and I never got any issues with it. I also used to do backend switching and it worked fine too.

                Which platform did you use it on ?

                )

                Comment


                • #9
                  jerome wrote on Thu, 30 April 2009 22:04

                  debug wrote on Thu, 30 April 2009 16:47


                  It was a few months ago, I don't remember details already.. We used it on highly loaded production, and there were multiple issues..


                  Maybe it was a bit after the 2.0 version was released there were some annoying issues which are now fixed if I remember well.

                  I already deployed Varnish on a few overloaded production site and I never got any issues with it. I also used to do backend switching and it worked fine too.

                  Which platform did you use it on ?

                  )



                  Not sure about the version, here is what I can find:

                  varnishd (varnish-trunk)
                  Copyright (c) 2006-2008 Linpro AS / Verdens Gang AS

                  Was using it on 64bit CentOS 4, and CentOS 5.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    debug wrote on Thu, 30 April 2009 18:16


                    Not sure about the version, here is what I can find:

                    varnishd (varnish-trunk)
                    Copyright (c) 2006-2008 Linpro AS / Verdens Gang AS

                    Was using it on 64bit CentOS 4, and CentOS 5.


                    Maybe using the trunk version was the reason why you get a weird behaviour.

                    Maybe you could test the new 2.0.4 release for your next projects.

                    http://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=155816

                    Have a nice day.

                    )

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      jerome wrote on Sat, 02 May 2009 00:18

                      debug wrote on Thu, 30 April 2009 18:16


                      Not sure about the version, here is what I can find:

                      varnishd (varnish-trunk)
                      Copyright (c) 2006-2008 Linpro AS / Verdens Gang AS

                      Was using it on 64bit CentOS 4, and CentOS 5.


                      Maybe using the trunk version was the reason why you get a weird behaviour.

                      Maybe you could test the new 2.0.4 release for your next projects.

                      http://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=155816

                      Have a nice day.

                      )




                      Hehe, we used trunk version, because it had bugfixes for some bugs which were critical for us. I don't really like using development versions on production, but we had to do this, because of some problems in release version.
                      I will have a look at new version, though we already use squid, and I will have a chance to test it only on some other project. BTW, do you know what kind of load tests are done on Varnish before release?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        debug wrote on Sat, 02 May 2009 20:46


                        Hehe, we used trunk version, because it had bugfixes for some bugs which were critical for us.


                        Ha ok.

                        debug wrote on Sat, 02 May 2009 20:46


                        I don't really like using development versions on production, but we had to do this, because of some problems in release version.


                        I do not really doing like this either but in that situation it definitely makes sense.

                        debug wrote on Sat, 02 May 2009 20:46


                        I will have a look at new version, though we already use squid, and I will have a chance to test it only on some other project. BTW, do you know what kind of load tests are done on Varnish before release?


                        Unfortunately I do not know.
                        There is a regression test suite available here :
                        http://varnish.projects.linpro.no/browser/trunk/varnish-tool s/regress but I found nothing about load tests.

                        )

                        Comment

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