Load balancing for maximum performance
When your application requires the highest possible rate of availability and speed, or needs to process large amounts of traffic, BIT puts its F5 Big-IP load balancers at your disposal.
The F5 Big-IP series is an industrial standard in the field of load balancers. You take care of your application, BIT makes sure your application is always and rapidly available. There is no need to invest in expensive load balancers of your own. BIT has them readily available - and because these resources are shared, the usage will only cost you a fraction of the costs of your own load balancer. You can use load balancing without having to invest in extra knowledge, because there are no specific requirements for your application's configuration.
By commissioning SSL-offloading on the load balancers, you can relieve the underlying web servers. Also, you will not have to purchase costly SSL-certificates for every web server.
BIT's load balancers have been placed in an active-passive setup, spread over two geographically separated data centers. Whenever the active load balancer fails, the passive load balancer immediately registers it. Within seconds, all traffic will be picked up by this load balancer.
The load balancers simultaneously offer protection against the malfunction of one or more servers from the cluster used by the load balanced application. This means that maintenance can be done on a server from the cluster without it interrupting the application. Like the load balancers, clustered servers can be placed in two separate data centers. It is possible to add servers that are located in other networks to your cluster. Convenient, in case you run application servers in your own or another data center.
An SSL-secured application needs to be able to encrypt and decrypt all traffic; with many visitors, this can leave a significant impact on the systems. Our load balancers have dedicated hardware to speed up the cryptography. By shifting the work to the load balancers, the servers will only have to process 'plain text' traffic. That is why we can use the same SSL-certificate for multiple servers. Via iRules, the load balancers can redirect all traffic to secure varieties of the protocol, for example from HTTP to HTTPS.
Speed and session persistence
Next to the advantage of spreading traffic over several servers, load balancers generate speedups. Application users will be connected to the server that is quickest to respond, or to the server with the littlest load; but there are possibilities for other load balancing algorithms.
The load balancers have been equipped with dedicated hardware to compress the traffic. This means that the application servers need to process a smaller bandwidth, which manifests itself in shorter rendering times for your application.
The load balancers can interact with their sessions. A user that has ended up with a particular server, will keep coming back to that server for the entire duration of the session. This function is of importance to webshops for example, where people fill up their 'shopping cart' and pay for the entire order at once.
Protocol inspection on the load balancers ensures that only the proper type of traffic will reach the application. This makes the load balancers into a first layer of defence against several types of attacks. The amount of traffic that reaches the dedicated firewalls between the load balancers and application servers is reduced significantly.
Dedicated load balancers
Certain situations, for example stricter security requirements, may ask for personal dedicated load balancers. BIT provides the option of specialist care for your own physical or virtual load balancers.