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Practical Load Balancing: Ride the Performance Tiger

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The Internet, and in particular the World Wide Web, have effectively leveled the playing field for businesses and individuals around the world. Do you have a great idea for a web site or a service? Even the more advanced ideas can be relatively easily and cheaply realized without much in the way of initial outlay. You can get shared hosting for a few pennies each month, and dedicated servers (virtual or otherwise) are getting to the point where they are cheaper now than managed web hosting was just a few years ago.

This is all well and good, and being able to start out despite having just a few coins to rub together is certainly a great achievement. But what do you do when you want to take your application to the next step? What if it really starts to take off and you find you have the new Facebook or Amazon on your hands. What do you do then?

The emergence of the cloud and modern, fast corporate networks demands that you perform judicious balancing of computational loads. Practical Load Balancing presents an entire analytical framework to increase performance not just of one machine, but of your entire infrastructure.

Practical Load Balancing starts by introducing key concepts and the tools you'll need to tackle your load-balancing issues. You'll travel through the IP layers and learn how they can create increased network traffic for you. You'll see how to account for persistence and state, and how you can judge the performance of scheduling algorithms.

You'll then learn how to avoid performance degradation and any risk of the sudden disappearance of a service on a server. If you're concerned with running your load balancer for an entire network, you'll find out how to set up your network topography, and condense each topographical variety into recipes that will serve you in different situations. You'll also learn about individual servers, and load balancers that can perform cookie insertion or improve your SSL throughput. 

You'll also explore load balancing in the modern context of the cloud. While load balancers need to be configured for high availability once the conditions on the network have been created, modern load balancing has found its way into the cloud, where good balancing is vital for the very functioning of the cloud, and where IPv6 is becoming ever more important.

You can read Practical Load Balancing from end to end or out of sequence, and indeed, if there are individual topics that interest you, you can pick up this book and work through it once you have read the first three chapters.

What you’ll learn

  • Judge network load balancing algorithms and when to use them
  • Plan your network for optimal load balancing performance
  • Configure single servers to take advantage of modern load balancing software
  • Learning to use load balancing software like HAproxy, STunnel etc.
  • Become familiar with implications of IPv6 and the cloud
  • Improve SSL throughput and seamless application cookie insertion

Who this book is for

Network engineers, developers and IT managers.

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