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An Overview of Private Cloud Load Balancing with OpenStack Octavia

Mohammed NaserMohammed Naser

Cloud load balancing is a savior for most enterprises when websites are hit with unprecedented traffic. How does OpenStack Octavia solve it?

Cloud load balancing is seen as a savior by most enterprises. When websites are hit with unprecedented spikes in traffic, there is a need to balance that traffic so that the website doesn't crash and cause operational problems. This situation is where a load balancing service comes into play.

Octavia, OpenStack's load balancing solution, is favored for public and private clouds by providers and enterprises alike. Here is a brief look at the project and the benefits it brings to the cloud operations industry.

Overview of OpenStack Octavia

In basic terms, Octavia is an open source load balancing project designed to work with OpenStack. The project was born out of the Neutron LBaaS (Load Balancing as a Service) project and has been in existence since OpenStack's Liberty version released.

Octavia works its magic as a cloud load balancing tool by managing online traffic and distributing any overload to multiple VMs, bare-metal servers, or containers. It provides a scalable infrastructure that depends on web traffic. If there is excess traffic than usual for a user, Octavia instantly scales horizontally and utilizes other server instances to balance the traffic. It also scales down when automatically when the traffic is lower. This type of 'on-demand' scaling availability makes Octavia a true 'for the cloud' offering.

Benefits of Private Cloud Load Balancing with Octavia

From ensuring optimal performance in application and content delivery to eliminating interruptions by quick scaling, the advantages of cloud load balancing with OpenStack Octavia are many. Here is a glance at some of these benefits.

Firstly, Octavia allows for highly customizable traffic management, as mentioned earlier. The workload is shared between instances, and cloud resources are used more efficiently. Users can also set the configuration for such a split, based on available VMs, bare-metal servers, etc. Users can also return to the same server as from the beginning, when traffic is back to normal, and assign requests to the instance where the number of active connections the least.

Secondly, cloud load balancing allows multiple protocols or SSL encryption options for users. HTTP/HTTPS protocols are easily scalable with a request to the server by the load balancer. They are also fault-tolerant. For TCP, there is no need for a request even. It passes straight through. TCP traffic flowing into a pool of instances increases performance and availability. If users are looking to avoid latency issues, UDP becomes the best choice. The connections between the applications and the internet are loss-tolerating with UDP.

Finally, OpenStack Octavia can carry out health checks according to protocol configurations. This ability ensures that traffic isn't unhealthy. The tool can easily replace one instance with another if there's a detection of an unhealthy workload.

VEXXHOST and OpenStack Octavia

VEXXHOST introduced cloud load balancing into our fore in 2017. Octavia is our open source solution for load balancing. We use it in tandem with other OpenStack projects to create highly secure and scalable private cloud environments for our clients. Contact our team to discuss building your cloud or for any clarifications. Our dedicated resource page can also help you in getting more information about private clouds.

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