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 Server Load Balancing

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echoMountain offers an optional Server Load Balancing service to our customers. This service utilizes efficient Server Load Balancing (SLB) to transparently balance traffic among multiple servers while continuously monitoring server, application and content health. This enhances overall reliability and availability of the services while simultaneously ensuring server farm accessibility.

Our Server Load Balancing architecture is built on Foundry Networks ServerIron 450 switches which support the highest density gigabit density for massively scalable gigabit server farms and blade server farms. The ServerIron 450 switches provide the foundation for high service availability, disaster recovery, and location and server transparency for consistent user experience. The ServerIron switches maximize application availability and provide robust security by defeating many forms of Denial of Service (DoS), Virus and Worm attacks. These switches act as a reliable last line of defense for mission-critical server farms and applications.

These intelligent load balancing, Layer 7 content switches offer high density Gigabit connectivity for highly scalable server farms and support for an industry leading 15,000,000 concurrent user sessions and over 300,000 new connections per second with 56 Gbps of throughput. Combined with our multi-path Gigabit network architecture, echoMountain provides a world class infrastructure for your mission critical server farms.

 Key Features

echoMountain utilizes Foundry Networks ServerIron 450 switches to support the following key internet traffic management applications:

  1. Efficient Server Load Balancing (SLB) — Distribute IPbased services and transparently balance traffic among multiple servers while continuously monitoring server, application and content health. This enhances overall reliability and availability of the services while simultaneously ensuring server farm accessibility.
  2. Intelligent Application Content Inspection and Switching — Avoid replicating application content and functions on all servers. Scale and optimize performance for targeted application needs, and increase ROI of the servers and applications. Defeat application level attacks by using deep content inspection and filtering of application messages containing malicious content. Support highly flexible clustering and client connection persistence solutions using advanced cookie and content switching.
  3. Robust Application Security—Shield server farms and applications from wire-speed multi-Gigabit rate DoS,DDoS, virus and worm attacks while serving legitimate application traffic. Improve security using IronShield™ security suite with support for features like advanced ACLs and sFlow network monitoring.
  4. Disaster Recovery and Global Server Load Balancing (GSLB) — Distribute services transparently across multiple sites and server farm locations and balance the traffic across those sites/servers on a global basis while monitoring site/server and application health. By directing the client to the best site for the fastest content delivery, ServerIron enhances overall application availability and reduces bandwidth costs. Site level redundancy and rapid transparent failover are supported for disaster recovery. ServerIron redirects client traffic globally by site availability, site load, and site response time. ServerIron also measures client/server proximity as defined by round trip delay and geographic location. All these features can work in conjunction with the network’s existing DNS servers and results in minimizing network disruption when implementing GSLB.ServerIron continually monitors the sites to detect any changes in servers or services due to varying health and traffic conditions. Configurable site load thresholds enable network administrators to fine tune the health checking parameters to best suit the site’s server and service capabilities.
  5. Extensive choice of load balancing methods like round robin, response time, least connections, weighted percentage, combined least connections and response time, and bandwidth load balancing for customizing application performance and end user response time.
  6. Comprehensive health checks to servers and applications to detect downed resources in real time and redirect users.Highly flexible and customizable health checks using layer 2,3,4 and 7, and boolean and scripted health checks.Layer 7 health checks can include the following:HTTP,DNS,SMTP,POP3,LDAP, NNTP,IMAP4,FTP,Telnet,RADIUS, and others.
  7. Simplified server farm management with automatic detection of downed resources and redirecting users, support for graceful shutdown of servers for maintenance, and slow start to bring new servers up to full capacity.
  8. Remote Backup Servers — If no local servers or applications are available, ServerIron sends client requests to remote servers.The remote server can be another server farm managed by ServerIron switches or just another group of real servers. By defining multiple remote servers, ServerIron will load balance the traffic among them using the selected load balancing method.
 Key Benefits

echoMountain's Server Load Balancing infrastructure provides the following key benefits:

  • Improved Application Performance— ServerIron Layer 4-7 switches,with their intelligent applicationaware load balancing and content switching, significantly improve application performance by optimally utilizing all available server resources. Foundry load balancing switches perform highly flexible real-time health checks to the servers and use the information obtained during the health checks to distribute load efficiently among the servers. Intelligent content switching capabilities maximize utilization and performance by eliminating the need to replicate content and application functions on all the servers.
  • Maximum Application Availability — High-performance ServerIron switches provide maximum availability to applications by intelligently distributing traffic among all available servers, and dynamically monitoring the ability of servers and applications running on the servers to deliver optimal performance. Using customizable health checks at various levels of granularity like host, port, application and transaction levels, load balancers transparently react in real time to increases and decreases in available server capacity by redistributing client traffic.ServerIron switches can be deployed in multiple high-availability modes with stateful session synchronization and failover to preserve client connections during failures of a ServerIron switch.
  • Robust Application and Server Farm Security — With the application and content intelligence built in, ServerIron switches detect and discard viruses and worms that spread through application level messages. Legitimate application traffic is load balanced at high performance while preventing and defeating attacks.With many intelligent features and superior performance, industry leading ServerIron switches reliably protect against many forms of Denial of Service (DoS) and Distributed DoS (DDoS) attacks.The ServerIron switches feature the most advanced intelligence and high performance to defeat wire-speed Gigabit rate DoS attacks up to 5 million attack packets a second.
  • Massive Application and Server Farm Scalability — Scaling applications and server farms is a fundamental requirement for continued business growth, and is costeffectively and transparently met by the ServerIron Layer 4-7 switches.These switches provide massive scalability to IP-based applications by allowing the use of multiple servers with load balancing and failover.As demand grows, simply add new server resources and configure the ServerIron switch to use the new resources. There is no need for forklift upgrades to the server farms and disruption to applications.