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Load Balancing Virtual Machines

Azure Load Balancer operates at layer 4 of the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) model. It's the single point of contact for clients. Load balancer distributes inbound flows that arrive at the load balancer's front end to backend pool instances. These flows are according to configured load-balancing rules and health probes. The backend pool instances can be Azure Virtual Machines or instances in a Virtual Machine Scale Set.

load balancing virtual machines

A public load balancer can provide outbound connections for virtual machines (VMs) inside your virtual network. These connections are accomplished by translating their private IP addresses to public IP addresses. Public Load Balancers are used to load balance internet traffic to your VMs.

An internal (or private) load balancer is used where private IPs are needed at the frontend only. Internal load balancers are used to load balance traffic inside a virtual network. A load balancer frontend can be accessed from an on-premises network in a hybrid scenario.

Standard load balancers and standard public IP addresses are closed to inbound connections unless opened by Network Security Groups. NSGs are used to explicitly permit allowed traffic. If you don't have an NSG on a subnet or NIC of your virtual machine resource, traffic isn't allowed to reach this resource. To learn about NSGs and how to apply them to your scenario, see Network Security Groups.

A key consideration for HCI deployments is the capital expenditure (CapEx) required to go into production. It is common to add redundancy to avoid under-capacity during peak traffic in production, but this increases CapEx. This redundancy is often needed because some servers in the cluster are hosting more virtual machines (VMs), while other servers are underutilized.

Enabled by default in Azure Stack HCI, Windows Server 2019, and Windows Server 2016, VM load balancing is a feature that allows you to optimize server utilization in your clusters. It identifies over-committed servers and live migrates VMs from those servers to under-committed servers. Failure policies such as anti-affinity, fault domains (sites), and possible owners are honored.

By default, VM load balancing is configured for periodic balancing: the memory pressure and CPU utilization on each server in the cluster are evaluated for balancing every 30 minutes. Here is the flow of the steps:

Under Balance virtual machines, select Always to load balance upon server join and every 30 minutes, Server joins to load balance only upon server joins, or Never to disable the VM load balancing feature. The default setting is Always.

You can configure if and when load balancing occurs using the cluster common property AutoBalancerMode. To control when to balance the cluster, run the following in PowerShell, substituting a value from the table below:

One of the main benefits of the virtualization of an environment is rational resources usage. When specific virtual machines are not needed, they can be powered off; this allows freed up computing resources to be provisioned to the VMs that are needed. Hyper-V Failover Cluster allows you to reduce downtime in your virtual machines; and beginning from editions for Windows Server 2016, Hyper-V can provide VM load balancing between Hyper-V hosts (which are called cluster nodes in this case).

The integration of Load Balancing with a Hyper-V Failover Cluster is provided. The following clustering rules are honored for load balancing: Possible Owners, Anti-affinity (these two rules existed before Windows Server 2016), and Fault Domains (new).

System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) can also be used for cluster management as an alternative to using Failover Cluster Manager. SCVMM includes the Dynamic Optimization feature (available since Windows Server 2012) that also redistributes a VM between cluster nodes. If you have Hyper-V Load Balancing enabled and use the SCVMM Dynamic Optimization, then Load Balancing will be disabled automatically once you enable Dynamic Optimization in SCVMM. In this case, load balancing management is taken by SCVMM in order to prevent conflicts that may be caused by the simultaneous working of two features and related issues. Microsoft recommends you to use SCVMM with Dynamic Optimization.

Hyper-V Failover Cluster is an effective solution that can both improve the availability of running VMs, as well as protect them against possible hardware failure of the nodes. In order to protect your data against other types of disaster, VM Backup & Replication should be used. VMs residing on the clustered Hyper-V hosts can migrate between hosts during events such as failover or load balancing. As a result, backing up the needed VM may appear difficult because you would be required to detect the host on which the VM resides (host-level VM backup is considered). NAKIVO Backup & Replication is a fast, reliable, and affordable VM data protection solution that supports Hyper-V clusters. NAKIVO Backup & Replication can automatically track which host the VM resides on once you have added the entire cluster to the inventory and, as a result, the process of making VM backups or replicas from Hyper-V cluster becomes as easy as backing up the VMs from standalone Hyper-V hosts.

Hyper-V Load Balancing is a useful clustering feature that is included in Hyper-V for Windows Server 2016. The feature helps you to use hardware resources more rationally and, as a result, improves the quality of the provided services. CPU and RAM metrics are used for making decisions to redistribute the loads. Load Balancing automatically initiates VM migration from overloaded nodes to the nodes with free resources when a threshold value (set in configuration) is exceeded. There is no significant downtime because Live Migration is used. Hyper-V Failover Cluster with load balancing protects your VMs against node failure in addition to providing high availability and enough computing resources for VMs.

A Virtual Load Balancer provides more flexibility to balance the workload of a server by distributing traffic across multiple network servers. Virtual load balancing aims to mimic software-driven infrastructure through virtualization. It runs the software of a physical load balancing appliance on a virtual machine.

A virtual network load balancer promises to deliver software load balancing by taking the software of a physical appliance and running it on a virtual machine load balancer. Virtual load balancers, however, are a short-term solution. The architectural challenges of traditional hardware appliances remain, such as limited scalability and automation, and lack of central management (including the separation of control plane and data plane) in data centers.

The traditional application delivery controller companies build virtual load balancers that utilize code from legacy hardware load balancers. The code simply runs on a virtual machine. But these virtual load balancers are still monolithic load balancers with static capacity.

A virtual load balancer uses the same code from a physical appliance. It also tightly couples the data and control plane in the same virtual machine. This leads to the same inflexibility as the hardware load balancer.

Virtual load balancers seem similar to a software load balancer, but the key difference is that virtual versions are not software-defined. That means virtual load balancers do not solve the issues of inelasticity, cost and manual operations plagued by traditional hardware-based load balancers.

No, Avi Networks does not offer a virtual load balancer. Avi offers a software-defined load balancing solution called Avi, which uses a software-defined scale-out architecture that separates the central control plane (Avi Controller) from the distributed data plane (Avi Service Engine). It delivers extensible application services including load balancing, security and container ingress on ONE platform across any environment. Avi is 100% REST API based that makes it fully automatable and seamless with the CI/CD pipeline for application delivery. With elastic autoscaling, Avi can scale based on application loads. And built-in analytics provide actionable insights based on performance monitoring, logs and security events in a single dashboard (Avi App Insights) with end-to-end visibility.

One of the popular ones out there in the market is to provide high availability, proxy, TCP/HTTP load-balancing. HAProxy is used by some of the reputed brands in the world, like below.

Nginx Plus is an all-in-one web application delivery solution including load balancing, content caching, web server, WAF, monitoring, etc. It provides a high-performance load balancer solution to scale applications to serve millions of requests per second.

Kemp is able to deliver virtual load balancing solutions thanks to its Virtual LoadMaster (VLM) that leverage all the positive aspects of the VMware design ethos. The key benefits of Kemp VLMs for VMware and Hyper-V are:

Although virtual machines have been overshadowed in recent years by the buzz around containers, their use continues to increase. NGINX and NGINX Plus are widely used as a virtual load balancer in such deployments. In this article we spell out the many advantages of virtual load balancers for many use cases and describe how to quickly and easily implement NGINX Plus as a virtual load balancer.

NGINX Plus can be installed on a variety of operating systems, can work with any hypervisor and on any public or private cloud, and can take full advantage of all the features of the hypervisor or cloud platform. There are no resource limitations with NGINX Plus, as are common with virtualized versions of hardware appliances, so you are free to use as much memory, CPU, and network bandwidth as you need. You have complete freedom to tailor the NGINX Plus virtual load balancer exactly to your needs. 041b061a72


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