I’m working on some labs and projects with KEMP Loadmaster load balancing appliances (LM 2400, LM-R320) That will lead to some blog post on load balancing several workloads, which are all on Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V or integrate in to Azure. The load balancers used in the labs are the virtual appliances, depending on the needs and environment these are a very good, cost effective option for production as well and depending on the version you get they scale very well. Hence their use in cloud environments, they will not hold you back at all!
To stimulate your interest in load balancing and high availability I’ve put up a video on load balancing RD Gateway services. Consider it a teaser or introduction to more about the subject.
Why use an appliance (hardware/virtual)? Well let’s look at the 2 alternatives:
- Round robin DNS, which is also sometimes used is just to low tech for most real life scenarios and sometimes can’t be used or is less efficient which impacts scalability and performance. On top of that it doesn’t provide health checking for failover purposes.
- I’ve also said before that while Windows NLB provides layer 4 load balancing out of the box it’s pretty basic. It also often causes a lot of network grief and the implementation can be tedious. This has not improved in an ever more virtualized & cloud based world. On top of that, when network virtualization comes into play you might paint yourself into a corner as those two don’t mix. But if that’s not a concern and you’re on a budget, I’ve used it with success in the past as well.