Re: [load balancing] software vs appliances.

From: tony bourke (
Date: Thu Feb 22 2001 - 05:52:06 EST

  • Next message: "Re: [load balancing] software vs appliances."

    > for the most part, #2. #1 too.
    > something like black box appliances like f5 vs switches that can act as
    > balancers like foundry vs software on popular operating system
    > implemtations (kernel-space/user-space on a unix, or windows os). overall
    > i'd be interested in anything.

    I like doing my work on the network level, having a seperate box doing the
    work. It makes things simpler that way, just my preference.

    > basically just trying to get a better feel for this list and what people
    > here are using/have used/opinions on each.
    > for example, i've used foundry switches, f5 bigips, and a linux balancing
    > implementation, lvs ( it's been a
    > while for me on using foundry switches' balancing features, but on the
    > other two, i've found lvs to work just as well, if not better, so i see
    > little need to spend $30k on a bigip that has no real-world benefits for
    > my uses. it also seems a lot more flexible. of course, i'm also kind of
    > a linux guy in general, so a lot of that has to do with familiarity of
    > what i'm using, and i've also been following the lvs project for years, so
    > maybe i'm biased.

    While for a smaller site, or a DIY (Do It Yourself) site, I might opt for
    the cheaper linux solution, I think for professional situations and higher
    trafficed sites the $20k or so expendecture is worth it for a couple of

    1. Maturaty. From the looks of it that Linux stuff is still in
    development, not quite geared towards a product release that the
    commercial stuff is. When things go apeshit it's hard to explain to a
    customer that the reason is some bug you havn't figured out on a Linux
    server. It doesn't seem to be nearly as far along as the commercial
    products as far as features and optimization.

    2. Support. Having a commercial support structure is a big plus, even if
    you have to pay for it. There is more accountability in the vendors part,
    so they are more apt to make their releases stable. This is an argument
    used in alot of pro-microsoft dialog, but I think this situation is
    different. The user base for Linux Virtual Server is alot lower compared
    to Linux in general, and help on news groups isn't really there like there
    would be for a network card driver problem.

    3. Features. There are several features that Linux Virtual Server
    doesn't support yet from what I can see. Critically, it doesn't do
    cookie-based persistence. Most web-store application sites require this
    to get around the AOL-megaproxy issue.

    4. Speed. F5 has spent a considerable amount of resources streamlining
    their code from the looks of it, and the switch-based vendors have their
    ASICs. All in all, the commerical products probably would be able to
    handle quite a bit more traffic than the Linux stuff.

    So yeah. You can't beat the Linux Virtual Server's price in some cases,
    however when there is a ton of money on the line for a site or a hosting
    provider, I think the commercial stuff is the best bet. I suspect that
    will change at some point on the future, but for now the commercial
    products have a head start.


    > but yeah, refer to paragraph #2.
    > -tcl.
    > ps- hi, tony.

    -------------- -- ---- ---- --- - - - - - -- - - - - - -
    Tony Bourke

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