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Ordering a Load Balancer

What is Load Balancing?

Load balancers help distribute traffic evenly between your servers. A load balancer is a virtual hardware that acts as a reverse proxy to distribute network and application traffic across different servers. A load balancer helps to improve these by distributing the workload across multiple servers, decreasing the overall burden placed on each server.

How to order Load Balancers?

Note: To make full use of this section, you must log in to the Hostwinds Client Area. To access your Cloud Control portal, you will need to click on the Cloud Control dropdown on the top of the Client portal dashboard menu and click the Cloud Portal link.

On the Cloud Control portal home page, click the green Create dropdown button at the top right of the dashboard. At the bottom of the dropdown, select the Load Balancer link to move to the ADD A LOAD BALANCER page. You will need to enter the information into the sections below to create your new load balancer.

Add a New Load Balancer

First, name your new Load Balancer to make it easier to discern if you have multiple Load Balancers. Next, you will need to choose the location to place this load balancer to run.

Select the location to place your Load Balancer. Note: The closer location is to the majority of your users, the better performance you will get.

Note: Once you have created the load balancer, you will be unable to change the name, IP address, location, and status of the load balancer.

Traffic Rules

It would be best to choose the Protocols and Ports you need to cover under these Traffic Rules. The available options to choose from are:

  • HTTP: This will route from HTTP, usually to the same HTTP. If used with HTTPS on the right side, it may cause errors to occur.
  • HTTPS: This will route from HTTPS to HTTPS. If HTTP is on the right side, errors may occur with the site as well.
  • HTTPS w/ SSL: You can use this to route from HTTPS to HTTP, as with this, an SSL Certificate is specified and used to encrypt and decrypt to the Load Balancer itself.
  • TCP: This is if you are not planning to use HTTP or HTTPS with the Load Balancer but plain TCP.

Note that you can add multiple Rules to this load balancer by selecting the Add New Rule button

Backend Servers

You can add backend servers to the load balancer as well. The load balancer will send the traffic that comes through these. You can set the IP address and the server name for this server here as well as add multiple servers. You have the option of enabling or disabling this option using the radio button.

Advanced Options:

Health Monitor: By default, Hostwinds disables this option. Health monitors work the same way our Hostwinds Systems Monitoring work by testing to see if the backend servers are functioning correctly. The monitor ensures the load balancer only sends connections to an active or healthy backend server. Set up the rules by entering the data below:

  • Delay
  • Timeout
  • Monitor Type: You can choose from the Monitor Types available:
    • HTTP
    • HTTPS
    • TCP
    • PING
  • Up Retries: Choose from between one (1) and ten (10) up retries.
  • Down Retries: Choose from between one (1) and ten (10) down retries.
  • Backend Port
  • HTTP Method: You can choose from the Monitor Types available:
    • CONNECT: Reserved for use with a proxy.
    • DELETE: Invokes a request for the remote server to delete a resource identified by the URI.
    • GET: Retrieve whatever information is identified by request URI.
    • HEAD: Identical to the GET message, except the server must not return a message-body response.
    • OPTIONS: Requests information from the server about the communication options available.
    • PATCH:
    • POST: Invoke some function to be performed by the server, as determined by the server.
    • PUT: Invoking some function but referring to an already existing entity.
    • TRACE: Used to reflect the request message to the requester allowing the requester to see what is being received by the server and to use that information for testing and diagnostic information.
  • HTTP Response Codes (only available on HTTP and HTTPS Monitor Types)
  • URL Path

Listener Rules

Listener rules determine how the traffic is distributed.

  • Round Robin: The load balancer alternates routing between the available pool of backend servers sequentially.
  • Least Connections: The load balancer keeps track of how many connections it sends to each backend server. It Attempts requests to the server with the least amount of active session connections.
  • Source IP: This algorithm will generate a Hash from the IP address accessing the Load Balancer and distributing it to a server.

Once all of the appropriate fields are complete, click Add Load Balancer Icon.

Once you've added your load balancer, create one or more listeners to check for connection requests. Use the port and configuration rules you made when ordering your load balancer.