Frequently asked questions
Why does your company use the .org TLD?
Why do I need a load balancer?
Is a Loadbalancer.org appliance simple to configure?
Why are Loadbalancer.org appliances so reasonably priced?
What protocols do your appliances support?
Will I require any additional hardware in order to use the load balancer?
Is it difficult to add additional servers to the server farm after configuration?
What is a real server?
What is a VIP (Virtual IP) address?
What is a RIP (Real IP) address?
What is a floating IP address?
Does the Loadbalancer.org appliance support a variety of load balancing methods?
Can I load balance SAP, SIEBEL, ORACLE, PEOPLESOFT, etc?
Do I need a Layer 7 switch (Application Delivery Controler)?
Do I need SSL switching or acceleration?
Do I need Cookie/URL/SSL persistence?
Do I need GSLB (Global Server Load Balancing)?
Can't I just use the load balancer in Windows Advanced Server?
Can I have 24*7 support?
Can I have on-site 4 hour response hardware maintenance?
Can I have next day hardware replacement?
Can I load balance two Internet connections?
How do I load balance Microsoft Office Communication Server (OCS)?
How do I load balance Microsoft Terminal Services?
What does clustered pair + Dev mean?
question
Why does your company use the .org TLD?
answer
Way back in 2002 when the company was formed, our founder - Malcolm Turnbull was primarily involved in research activities around loadbalancing technologies, so .org was chosen as the top level domain. Later, once products began to roll off the production line the name had stuck and remains the same today. Also, at the time, the domain squatter wanted $200,000 for loadbalancer.com.
 
question
Why do I need a load balancer?
answer
Running an application on one server gives you a single point of failure. Utilizing a load balancer moves the point of failure to the load balancer. At Loadbalancer.org we advise that you only deploy load balancers as clustered pairs to remove this single point of failure. A load balancer will also increase performance by allowing you to utilize several commodity servers to handle the workload of one application. Furthermore, you can easily bring servers on and off line to perform maintenance tasks, without disrupting your users.
 
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Is a Loadbalancer.org appliance simple to configure?
answer
Absolutely. All Loadbalancer.org solutions come with an easy-to-use web based wizard to get you up and running in minutes. Alongside this you will receive a detailed quick start guide, and for more complex configurations our highly experienced support team are always more than happy to help. Most customers can configure for their own environment in less than 10 minutes.
 
question
Why are Loadbalancer.org appliances so reasonably priced?
answer
Originally we worked with large ISP partners who needed a simple cost effective load balancer to re-brand and re-sell to their customers. We only use Open Source technology to reduce development overheads. We strive to keep low overheads with minimal marketing so that you get these great appliances for half the price you would expect.
 
question
What protocols do your appliances support?
answer
All Loadbalancer.org appliances will support any TCP or UDP based protocols.
 
question
Will I require any additional hardware in order to use the load balancer?
answer
Depending on your specific configuration you may require additional switches. All Loadbalancer.org hardware solutions come with 2 Gigabit Ethernet ports; with the exception of the Enterprise MAX, which proivides 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports.
 
question
Is it difficult to add additional servers to the server farm after configuration?
answer
Not at all. Real servers can be easily added (or taken away) using the Loadbalancer.org Web interface.
 
question
What is a real server?
answer
A real server is the actual physical server that sits behind the Loadbalancer.org appliance holding all the content or running the application that is ultimately served to the client.
 
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What is a VIP (Virtual IP) address?
answer
The VIP (Virtual IP) is the address that is used by the load balancer to access the load-balanced services (cluster).
 
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What is a RIP (Real IP) address?
answer
The RIP (Real IP) is the real IP address of the backend server in the cluster.
 
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What is a floating IP address?
answer
The floating IP address is shared by the master and slave load balancer when in a high-availability configuration. The network knows that the master controls the floating IP address and all traffic will be sent to this address. The logical VIP matches this address and is used to load balance the traffic to the application cluster. If the master has a hardware failure then the slave will take over the floating IP address and seamlessly handle the load balancing for the cluster.
 
question
Does the Loadbalancer.org appliance support a variety of load balancing methods?
answer
With all Loadbalancer.org appliances you have a variety of load balancing options across Layer 4 and 7. The recommended method is Layer 4 direct routing, as it is very high perfromance with very little change to your exisitng infrstructure. We do, however, appreciate that this is not possible for all enviroments and our team of highly experienced technicians are always happy to advise on the best configuration for your environment. Please see our load balancing methods page for more information on our support load balancing methods.
 
question
Can I load balance SAP, SIEBEL, ORACLE, PEOPLESOFT, etc?
answer
You can load balance ANY TCP or UDP packets, but you meant to say:

Will the load balancer magically fix a poorly designed application?

No. If your application does not have a persistent backend storage device (a database) then you only get increased performance, failover will lose the session. THIS IS THE SAME FOR ALL LOAD BALANCERS - NO PERSISTENCE IN THE APPLICATION = NO SESSION FAILOVER. Persistence by source ip address is useful for: Terminal Services, Streaming Media and HTTPS. Persistence is fully supported by every Loadbalancer.org appliance. Loadbalancer.org appliances also support cookie insertion and re-write.
 
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Do I need a Layer 7 switch (Application Delivery Controler)?
answer

Loadbalancer.org appliances fully support Layer 7 switching utilizing the high performance HA-Proxy. But, a layer 7 switch is basically a proxy server. Layer 7 switching is very slow. Instead of switching by URL just switch at layer 4 using DNS. For example instead of switching on /shop and /browse switch on shop.mysite.com and browse.myshop.com.

Again we are being a bit negative here, Layer 7 is very flexible and we are working closely with Willy Tarreau to ensure our Layer 7 capabilities are better than the competition. Performance isn't too bad either on the base R16 at 27,000 TPS for full cookie insertion.

BTW: If anyone calls our product an Application Delivery Controler we get very upset, or even worse Application Delivery Network! I can't believe Wikkipedia has removed the page for Load Balancers and replaced it with  F5s ADC marketing garbage.

Don't believe the marketing hype over a very simple and slightly pointless technology.
If you want to scale out a Layer 7 solution then take a look at Willy Tarreau's excellent article.

 
question
Do I need SSL switching or acceleration?
answer
Loadbalancer.org appliances fully support SSL termination using Pound and STunnel. This is to enable the load balancer to process SSL Layer 7 traffic including cookies etc. If you want to scale a solution like this you may want to invest in some cheap SSL accelerators.

I guess we shouldn't be so negative when our base R16 appliance can do an impressive 500 SSL TPS (7 times faster than the more expensive Kemp 2000 load balancer.)

If you are working at Layer 4 as recommended you don't need to worry about SSL acceleration, what the heck do you think you have a load balancer for? Just add more SSL capable web servers.
NB. If anyone can explain what possible use SSL switching is please let us know.
 
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Do I need Cookie/URL/SSL persistence?
answer
Loadbalancer.org appliances fully support Layer 7 switching and cookie persistence utilizing the high performance HA-Proxy.

But, you should never require persistence on your load balancers, that's just poor design.
If your application is so poorly coded that it needs persistence then source IP persistence works fine, whereas cookie/url/SSL are client dependent.

Persistence is sensible for something like Windows Terminal Server (to keep the same session) or HTTPS (to avoid excessive re-negotiation of keys). Remember, if you REQUIRE persistence you'll get NO FAILOVER!
HOW TO: Configure ASP.NET for Persistent SQL Server Session State Management
 
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Do I need GSLB (Global Server Load Balancing)?
answer

Nice idea, shame it doesn't work. The only method that works is to use multiple DNS A records and BGP which your ISP can sort out for you. GSLB is a marketing gimmick and does not work.
Why DNS Based Global Server Load Balancing (GSLB) Doesn’t Work .
Before you use GSLB for failover have you first made your primary site indestructible? i.e.

2 x Internet feeds
2 x Switch fabrics
2 x Firewalls
2 x Load balancers
3+ x Web Servers
2+ x Database Servers

More sensible thoughts on GSLB:

http://blogs.sun.com/davew/entry/thoughts_on_global_server_load
http://devcentral.f5.com/weblogs/ksalchow/archive/2009/06/03/shame-on-gslb-shame-on-me.aspx

If you need an edge network for local cached image delivery check out Amazon Cloud Front, its cheaper than you think.

 
question
Can't I just use the load balancer in Windows Advanced Server?
answer
Um, it's expensive, CPU & network intensive and doesn't even support application health checking. Microsoft explain for themselves just how bad it is here. CISCO switches have a few issues with NLB as well!
 
question
Can I have 24*7 support?
answer
Yes, our Premium support package is 24*7 with a 1 hour SLA. Send an email to support@loadbalancer.org and we will endeavor to answer your question as fast as we can. If you prefer you can use the 24 hour call center to do exactly the same thing.
 
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Can I have on-site 4 hour response hardware maintenance?
answer
Yes. With Dell hardware you have the option of a worldwide 4 hour on site response.
 
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Can I have next day hardware replacement?
answer
Yes, we can offer next day hardware replacement in America & Europe, with best effort in other locations.
 
question
Can I load balance two Internet connections?
answer
No. That's called 'link balancing' try SmoothWall or 'WAN balancing'. try Riverbed.
 
question
How do I load balance Microsoft Office Communication Server (OCS)?
answer
No problem, have a look at our Load Balancing Microsoft OCS (Office Communications Server) Deployment Guide
 
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How do I load balance Microsoft Terminal Services?
answer
No problem, have a look at our Load Balancing Microsoft Terminal Services Deployment Guide
question
What does clustered pair + Dev mean?
answer
Unlike our competitors, here at Loadbalancer.org, we offer more competitive pricing for the purchase of multiple units. The + Dev in 'a clustered pair + Dev' stands for development unit. A clustered pair + Dev is basically a bundle of 3 identical units. These would usually be used as 2 units in a clustered pair configuration for high-availability, with a spare unit for development and testing. This third unit can also be implemented as a cold spare should you encounter a failure on one of your live units.