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Load balancer recommendation? - MegaZone's Safety Valve
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Load balancer recommendation?
It has been several years since I've shopped around for network hardware. We're looking to add some redundancy to our hosting environment at work, and that requires a load-balancer/redirector. More to handle fail-over than load-balancing. Back in the day the Cisco Local Director was what we normally used (at GTEI) since we were a Cisco shop. I remember other names, like Top Level, but I know the market has shaken up a lot in the past few years.

What is the recommendation for a redirector these days? Note, we're looking for something off-the-shelf, operations isn't interested in a Linux/FreeBSD/Windows box with home brewed solution, etc. Something like a Local Director is what we're looking for - rack mount, router-ish box.

I am: haried
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rbarclay From: rbarclay Date: November 14th, 2003 12:18 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
Extreme Networks stuff comes highly recommended, and we'll probably install one of those at a client next year.

If it's not yet time-critical (and you remind me) I can inquire next Friday when I'll meet .at's load-balancing guru.
krellis From: krellis Date: November 14th, 2003 12:18 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)

F5... Foundry...

F5's BigIP and Foundry's ServerIron are the two main products I know of, aside from Cisco's LD, which seems to have fallen by the wayside a bit. They're both pretty high-end and pretty expensive, even at the low end of each of their spectra. Oh yeah, and there's the Alteon AC3, which is now a Nortel product of some sort, I'm not sure what, exactly, it's called anymore.

We use the BigIP 520 for DynDNS.org - a pair of them provide our Layer 4 load balancing for our web/update servers. They list for like $20k a pop, we got them for like $9k, and I think Dell actually rebrands and sells them (well, PowerEdge servers running the BigIP OS) for around $5k each. LJ also uses BigIP in their architecture.

I don't have any experience with Foundry's line, other than knowing they exist, and that Foundry has a pretty good rep for that kind of stuff.
donnerjack From: donnerjack Date: November 14th, 2003 02:05 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
If you just want straight up load balancing of web traffic, with a failover mechanism for web traffic (I emphasize again, web traffic, because these things suck otherwise) then we use Redhill WebMux LBs at work. They're nice, comparatively cheap, dirt simple to use, and they run linux. If you're looking at something a little higher end than that, we use the Cisco CSS, which is basically a protocol agnostic load balancer/failover net device. Those are a little pricier, I think, but off a hell of a lot more flexibility. It looks like you can pick up one of the base models of that line on ebay for under a grand. This is basically what we use, though I'm not sure who our supplier is, and the ones we buy are usually in the multiple grand range. That kind of thing might well do exactly what you're looking for though, and the lower end models should be in the price point you're looking at. Drop me an IM if you want any more info.
fallenpegasus From: fallenpegasus Date: November 14th, 2003 03:33 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
There is F5's BigIP box. Pricy (but no more so than Cisco), but top of the line, smoothly scaleable, and can keep up until the network itself is completely saturated.