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High-performance load balancing

Back and Forth

Article from ADMIN 81/2024
Seesaw v2 is a sophisticated solution for load balancing in Layer 4 on networks subject to heavy traffic and facilitates the removal, maintenance, and integration of individual servers.

An important aspect of high availability is ensuring that the maximum performance of a system is maintained, even at maximum load. This state is achieved with tools that intelligently distribute access to the various servers. Seesaw v2 comes into play wherever high-performance load balancing is required. Seesaw only works up to Layer 4 and can therefore act faster than other potential candidates, such as HAProxy or NGINX.

Load balancing is necessary to ensure the availability and scalability of business applications. The principle is basically simple, but ingenious at the same time: The load balancer offers access to the servers according to an algorithm, and additional servers can be added to the server pool, if required, while the end user remains blissfully unaware of any of these operations.

The load balancer acts as a reverse proxy and supports server access via virtual IP addresses. The potential applications are many and varied. In addition to load distribution, load balancers can automatically detect server failures and reroute traffic accordingly. Load balancing also facilitates the maintenance of individual servers because admins can remove servers from the pool, carry out the required maintenance work without affecting the environment, and then reinstate the servers in the setup. Additionally, backup servers can be integrated automatically and application servers can be added to or removed from the network without interruption.

Load Balancing in Layer 4

Seesaw [1] is a load balancing implementation based on the Linux Virtual Server project, which makes it different from HAProxy or NGINX, which work up to Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) Layer 7, whereas Seesaw acts as an OSI Layer 4 load balancer. Therefore, although this tool can handle UDP, TCP, Stream Control Transmission Protocol (SCTP), Authentication Header

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