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Load Balancing Consultant for packet forwarding devices Disclosure Number: IPCOM000013966D
Original Publication Date: 2001-Jul-04
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-19

Publishing Venue



The invention deals with the functions required to load balance servers in a server farm. The required function includes monitoring each individual server for performance and availability, and then using the inputs from the monitoring functions to do the actual packet/connection routing. Current load balancing products typically provide both of these functions. In general, these products are either software or switch/hardware/firmware based. Each platform has it's own unique advantage. Switch platforms can do very fast packet routing, but lack the sophisticated monitoring functions. Software products are slow at routing packets, but have very robust monitoring capabilities. The body of this invention is a software product that provides load balancing monitoring functions and includes a public interface that allows the software to control the routing function of an external switch based load balancing device. Given the industry direction of pushing more and more function into network appliances, it makes sense to allow a fast switch based device to do the packet forwarding, as these types of devices can provide the function in a much more efficient manner. Where these appliances fall short is that they don't have a workable application environment to be able to do more sophisticated types of server farm monitoring. By using a sophisticated software product to provide load balancing management functions, appliance vendors can concentrate on forwarding packets, and the monitoring of the server farm is off-loaded to the software product. 1