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wilsj

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Load Balancers

Hey All,

   I'm looking for a little help on choosing a load balancer. Right now I have quotes for a Radware Link Proof and a F5 Link controller. The F5 is more expensive but from what I've read a lot of people say it's worth it. I'm looking to basically load balance traffic from multiple ISP's for redundancy. Currently I have a 2851 sitting in front of an ASA 5520 failover setup. So where would one of these load balancer fit into the equation? Would it replace the 2851 or would it sit in between the 2851 and the ASA's? Any help is appreciated.
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Smart_Man
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can you post more network configuration details ?

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wilsj

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Sorry for the later response. My current setup looks like this. Currently there is only one ISP coming into the building.


                           ISP
                         |  |  |  | ( 4 T1's)
                          2851
           (Inside)/    |    \(DMZ)
                      ASA 5520
                       | | | | | | | | |
                 Multiple VLANs
sorry looks like i am missing something , but is not the load balancer for balancing load between multiple ISPs and you only have one ISP ?
or are you planing to have another ISP ?


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Yes we plan on adding another ISP.
(ISP1)
(ISP2)                    (load balancer )     (start of your network)


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ASKER

Ok.....
So does the load balancer replace the router, sit in front of the router, or sit between the router and the firewall?
(Load balancing) or (traffic shaping) in cisco routers terms. can be done using either router , access server , load balancer.

it depends on your needs , and the network load (heavy , medium , moderate). in fact some advanced routers do have (traffic shaping) = (load balancing) , by setting up multiple roots and setting up priority for taking which root.

it is a complex issue but i am glad you asked that so we can expand.

are you able to set routes manually in your current router ?

it might result in saving some money and just using an advantage you already have.

did you know it is achievable using simple software proxy/router that can be setup ed at any PC and make that machine as your router.

of course again as i said it varies as the scale of what you re trying to do.

please answer me question and post some details about your traffic . the current , the planned the load .... expectations.

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ASKER

I know that cisco can do load balancing. I know that some pc with the right software can do load balancing. Right now I am asking about Hardware load balancers. Would it be benificial to replace the router witht he load balancer or place the load balancer in between the router and the firewall?
well if the hardware is better fro the load balancer i would go liek omitting the router and using the load balancer then to the firewall.

it depends on teh hardware of each device. you do not need extra steps neither bottle-necks.

which load balancer you are going for so i can compare performance with teh router to decide which config is better ?

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We haven't decided yet. It is between the Link controller from F5 or the Link proof from Radware.
would you care to check you rrouter for the ability of doing the load balance itself ?

does your router have the required physical interface, suitable memory (and expanding slots, enough processing power ?



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Carlos Hernandez
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yes that s a great point too. it is your NEEDS and you expected network traffic. as long as the capabilities of the devices you are comparing.


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CLoz thanks for your reply that is exactly what I was looking for. I know what the cisco equipment can do and yes if I wanted too I have the resources to do it. But it wasn't what I needed.

Can the radware appliance do this also or just the F5? Also how does the F5 allow your website to point to 2 different ISP's? Is there some kind of virtual IP?
The F5 Link Controller has a built in Dynamic DNS server called Zonerunner.  You make it the Authoritative Sever for the FQDN you need load balanced.  You then configure Listeners on the LC for each link (NS1, NS2).   The LC will have WideIP's, which are A records with addresses on both links address space.  The LC will receive DNS request on either link and respond with the IP address of the active links address space.  
 
The radware has similar functionality for the inbound link load balancing, the F5 shines when it comes to combining link load balancing and server load balancing.  

Not only can the F5 Link Controller load balance the incoming request to the appropriate link but its has advanced monitoring to check the health of internal servers and load balance across multiple servers for better performance and fault tolerance.
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Awesome. Thanks so much for the info. I think I will be pushing for the F5.

One more question. Does the Link Controller some like you described out for the box or is there a module involved?
Right out of the box it can do what I've described.  
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Thank you.