Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A bit more about the F5

The F5 local traffic manager (LTM) is a load balancer. Here's a quick overview of how it does its basic thing:

Individual web servers are defined as "nodes". Each node can be part of one or more "pools" of web servers. These pools are then assigned as a resource to any of the "virtual servers" that you define.

When you set up a virtual server, you have to indicate what port and protocol you're using. If it's for SSL connectivity and the F5 is handling the encryption, you'll need to indicate what certificates you should be using.

You can specify what healthchecks it should use to determine if a node is up, and what metrics the F5 should use to figure out who to hand the next connection off to when it uses a pool containing several members.

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Regis has worked as a network engineer since 1994 for small companies and for large companies.