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NETWORKING SERVICES

At Edge, we have both the equipment and the crucial human resources required to properly set up and administer an efficient, secure, and reliable load balanced cluster. Here are some important things you may want to know.

 

 

Types of load balancing we provide

We provide support for a wide range of protocols, including SSL for secure traffic. The following types of load balancing are supported:

  • VIP (Virtual IP)
  • VIP with SSL
  • VIP with wildcard SSL
  • VIP with multi-domain SSL

Edge load balancing using world-class F5 load balancers

Edge works with best-in-class load balancing solutions supplied by industry-leader F5 Networks. No other technology can ensure the degree of redundancy, performance, scalability, and security provided by the heavy-duty F5 BIG-IP appliances that we have in place. Our equipment boasts high throughput, ensuring smooth operation and no bottlenecks.

Diverse hardware configurations designed to suit you

All our clusters are protected by a fully-redundant active Cisco firewall platform, a comprehensive intrusion detection system, and a fully meshed redundant Cisco switching system. Based on your specs, we can design and build a wide array of load balanced clusters that are optimized for your specific application.

Cluster visualization tools

Using the proprietary Edge cluster visualization tools, monitoring your servers and analyzing usage and performance are easier than ever.

Proactive cluster monitoring

With a permanent team of experienced engineers in place, Edge proactively monitors the functionality of every component in your cluster, including the load balancer. In the event that a problem is identified, you can be confident that Edge works fast to resolve any issues and keep your business online.

Load balancing is available in conjunction with Edge’s cluster hosting services and is recommended for every application that requires full redundancy or high availability for their mission critical application.

To ensure high hardware performance and maximum availability, business-critical applications often run on multiple servers – but when a server becomes overloaded with traffic and ultimately begins to fail, how can you be sure that your data is accessible? Web server load balancing ensures that your server is available at all times, even during planned or unplanned maintenance that might usually cause downtime.

Load balancing refers to a physical device or software application that processes all incoming web traffic and sends it in a certain direction. Distinctively, our load balancers make intelligent decisions on where traffic should be sent – ideally, to the server in your cluster that is best placed to handle the request.

Besides the core traffic dispatching function, high-end load balancing solutions such as F5 Networks’ BIG-IP line, provide additional value including enhanced security and traffic acceleration.

But how important is quality web server load balancing technology to your overall server performance? Can you afford to take the risk of not having the load balancing server cluster that your business needs in order to be successful?

Let’s imagine a situation in which load balancing makes for an effective hosting solution.

A corporate services provider has developed a backend application used to manage the ordering of meal vouchers. The application is still in development, so the design of the hosting infrastructure must allow for frequent updates and modifications, without compromising availability and uptime. In addition, the nature of the application makes it resource-intensive – when large amounts of traffic connect to the server, excellent performance must be maintained.

The solution is to use two identical servers, placed behind a load balancer.

When traffic attempts to flow to the server, it first passes through the load balancer, which can connect the user to the least-used server. This way, users receive the best performance possible at all times, because the overall traffic is spread between two hardware servers. When the application is updated, the load balancer can direct all of the traffic to one of the nodes, while the other is taken offline for the update. Then, this process is reversed.

Thanks to load balancing in a server cluster setup, users experience consistently high performance with absolutely no downtime, even during updates.

The above scenario exemplifies a typical way to use a load balancer setup, but the power and flexibility of load balancing provide many other advantages:

Redundancy

Redundancy describes the method of running two or more identical servers, providing a failsafe in the event that one server becomes unavailable. With setups that don’t use load balancers, it’s difficult to ensure redundancy, because each server in the cluster is essentially a single point of failure. For instance, if a server becomes unresponsive due to a rogue process, all the users served by that machine will get an error message and most likely, they will flood support channels with complaints. With load balancing in place, the system “senses” when a server becomes unavailable and instantly reroutes traffic to the other machines, ensuring that another node in your cluster handles the traffic. Even better, our load balanced architecture always includes a secondary load balancing device, guaranteeing full redundancy across every component of your network.

Scalability

Even if you have modest resource requirements right now, scalability should always be a consideration when finding the right hosting solution. In a few months, you may find that you need to add more horsepower to your cluster. The smart thing to do is to opt for a load balancing system, which not only lets you get the most out of your current machines, but lets you scale your application when needed. You can have a new machine (or ten new machines) go live, without having to take the entire application out for maintenance.

Resource optimization

With a load balancer in place, you can optimize how traffic is distributed to the server cluster to ensure the best performance possible. Load balancers can also speed up an application, by taking over time-consuming operations such as SSL encryption and decryption. The specialized components in F5’s BIG-IP products decrypt the web traffic before dispatching it to the cluster, thus freeing up resources on servers and reducing overhead.

Security

The security of the web application is also improved dramatically. With load balancing, only one IP is exposed to the web, which greatly reduces the number of breach points in case of an attack. The internal topology of your network is hidden, which also improves the safety of your setup. The servers from the cluster receive their own virtual IP, which makes it possible for the load balancer to direct traffic as needed without exposing your address to hackers. This adds an additional layer of security onto our 5-tier security platform.

Contact Us

Contact us today to learn more about our Networking Services and receive a complimentary custom analysis of your environment.