We are running a high demanding web/application server farm. Our web servers run on ports 80TCP and some of our applications run on UDP ports.
We are currently load balancing our servers in the farm using Nortel 2424 Load Balancing Switches. Since the servers are W2K Advanced Servers, I thought of NLB as a more cost effective alternative.
I could not find any documentations or newsgroup discussions about the performance difference between a hardware load balancer such as the 2424, and the Windows built in NLB. When looking at it from a performance point of view, which one is better? What's the difference really? What happens under the hood? I understand that the 2424 uses Virtual IPs that distributes to the servers' IPs. NLB on the other hand is set by having all farm members share the same VIP. Does that make it slower? High Performance is very critical for us, but I'd still like to know if NLB is an option and why.