Infrastructure FAQs - Load Balancing

Load Balancing Options

The MaximumASP networking team will work with you to determine what method of load balancing is best based on individual customer needs for a one time set-up fee of $100 and a recurring cost starting at just $100 per month.

Contact sales@maximumasp.com for more information.

What is Load Balancing?

MaximumASP load balancing powered by F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager offers a valuable advantage for two or more dedicated servers. The hardware load balancing allows MaximumASP to provide high-availability services based on server fail-over, traffic load, or simple round-robin approaches. This optimization between servers ensures that the web surfer receives the fastest possible performance with the shortest download time.

In addition to load balancing the benefits for customers include:

  • Increased application capacity
  • Improved scalability
  • Increased reliability by distributing total traffic loads
  • Redistributing the load of a failed web server
  • Providing proactive server health checks to determine availability

MaximumASP delivers the most cost effective load balancing solution to meet the needs of all of our customers at both ends of the user traffic spectrum - all at an affordable price with proven performance.

What are the load balancing methods?

Round Robin

This is the default load balancing method. Round Robin mode passes each new connection request to the next server in line, eventually distributing connections evenly across the array of machines being load balanced. Round Robin mode works well in most configurations, especially if the equipment that you are load balancing is roughly equal in processing speed and memory.

Least Connections (member) and Least Connections (node)

The Least Connections methods are relatively simple in that the LTM system passes a new connection to the node that has the least number of current connections. Least Connections methods work best in environments where the servers or other equipment you are load balancing have similar capabilities.

These are dynamic load balancing methods, distributing connections based on various aspects of real-time server performance analysis, such as the current number of connections per node or the fastest node response time. Load balancing calculations may be localized to each pool (member-based calculation) or they may apply to all pools of which a server is a member (node-based calculation).

Specifying priority-based member activation

You can load balance traffic across all members of a pool or across only members that are currently activated according to their priority number. In priority-based member activation, each member in a pool is assigned a priority number that places it in a priority group designated by that number.

With all pool members available (meaning they are enabled, marked up, and have not exceeded their connection limit), the LTM system distributes connections to all members in the highest priority group only, that is, the group designated by the highest priority number. The Priority Group Activation value determines the minimum number of members that must remain available for traffic to be confined to that group. If the number of available members in the highest priority group drops below the minimum number, the LTM system also distributes traffic to the next higher priority group, and so on.

Load Balance Pool Monitors

Monitors are how the load balancer knows which real server is available to accept connections. The default monitor is setup to monitor ports 80 and 443 to see if these ports are still active on the real servers. If they are no longer active then the load balancer will mark that pool member as down and stop forwarding connections to that server. Once the ports are up again the load balancer will start sending traffic to that server.

There are also custom monitors that can be setup to monitor specific URLs. This is beneficial if an application goes down, but port 80 is still responsive. The load balancer will try to hit port 80 first and it will be successful, but when it tries to open the URL and it is down the load balancer will then stop forwarding connections to that particular server.

Special order requests for load balancing methods are also available. For more information about load balancing methods and special order requests contact sales@maximumasp.com