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Using the IPv6 Flow Label for Load Balancing in Server Farms (RFC7098)

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000234551D
Original Publication Date: 2014-Jan-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2014-Jan-17
Document File: 26 page(s) / 31K

Publishing Venue

Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)

Related People

B. Carpenter: AUTHOR [+3]


The IPv6 flow label has been redefined [RFC6437] and is now a recommended IPv6 node requirement [RFC6434]. Its use for load sharing in multipath routing has been specified [RFC6438]. Another scenario in which the flow label could be used is in load distribution for large server farms. Load distribution is a slightly more general term than load balancing, but the latter is more commonly used. In the context of a server farm, both terms refer to mechanisms that distribute the workload of a server farm among different servers in order to optimize performance. Server load balancing commonly applies to HTTP traffic, but most of the techniques described would apply to other upper-layer applications as well. This document starts with brief introductions to the flow label and to server load-balancing techniques, and then describes how the flow label can be used to enhance load balancers operating on IP packets and TCP sessions, commonly known as layer 3/4 load balancers.

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Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)                      B. Carpenter Request for Comments: 7098                             Univ. of Auckland Category: Informational                                         S. Jiang ISSN: 2070-1721                             Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd                                                               W. Tarreau                                               HAProxy Technologies, Inc.                                                             January 2014

       Using the IPv6 Flow Label for Load Balancing in Server Farms


   This document describes how the currently specified IPv6 flow label    can be used to enhance layer 3/4 (L3/4) load distribution and    balancing for large server farms.

Status of This Memo

   This document is not an Internet Standards Track specification; it is    published for informational purposes.

   This document is a product of the Internet Engineering Task Force    (IETF).  It represents the consensus of the IETF community.  It has    received public review and has been approved for publication by the    Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG).  Not all documents    approved by the IESG are a candidate for any level of Internet    Standard; see Section 2 of RFC 5741.

   Information about the current status of this document, any errata,    and how to provide feedback on it may be obtained at    http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc7098.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2014 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the    document authors.  All rights reserved.

   This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal    Provisions Relating to IETF Documents    (http://trustee.ietf.org/license-info) in effect on the date of    publication of this document.  Please review these documents    carefully, as they describe your rights and restrictions with respect    to this document.  Code Components extracted from this document must    include Simplified BSD License text as described in Section 4.e of    the Trust Legal Provisions and are provided without warranty as    described in the Simplified BSD License.

 Carpenter, et al.             Informational                     [Page 1]
 RFC 7098          Flow Label for Server Load Balancing      January 2014

 Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   2    2.  Summary of Flow Label Specification . . . . . . . . . . . . .   2    3.  Summary of Server Farm Load-Balancing Techniques  . . . . . .   4    4.  Applying the Flow Label to L...