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Announcing Cloud Load Balancing Private Beta

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We are actively developing a high-performance, on-demand load balancing solution–built in the cloud, for the cloud.

Cloud Load Balancing will allow customers to create more robust, scalable, and high availability configurations in the cloud in a matter of seconds. Imagine being able to launch a load balancing solution with the push of a button or via API. That’s what we’re building! The result is considerable time savings compared to manually configuring a solution and significant cost savings compared to going through our professional services team.

Cloud Load Balancing will include numerous features that help you ensure that your applications are online and are highly responsive:

  • Advanced Algorithms – Including support for round robin, weighted round robin, least connections, weighted least connections and random. Customers will have the ability to ensure traffic is being properly routed to the back-end nodes in a way that is optimal for their workload.
  • Static IP Addresses – Every load balancer is assigned a dedicated static IP address that can be selectively shared with other load balancers under a single account. IP addresses are persistent and won’t change while a load balancer is active.
  • Health Monitor – In the event that a back-end node fails, the load balancer will quickly remove it from rotation. The health monitor is even capable of inspecting your HTTP traffic to ensure your workload is performing how you expect it to be.
  • Simplified Maintenance – We will perform rolling application restarts that will have zero customer impact by draining your nodes and taking them out of rotation immediately.
  • Advanced Access Control – You will be able to easily manage who can and can’t access the services that are exposed via the Cloud Load Balancing service.
  • Session Persistence – If you are load balancing HTTP traffic, the session persistence feature will enable an HTTP cookie to ensure subsequent requests are directed to the same node in your load balancer pool.
  • REST-based API – The RESTful API will let you develop custom solutions to automate the entire process of managing and controlling the Cloud Load Balancing service.

Our Cloud Load Balancing service is based on Zeus technology and built on top of our robust network, you’ll have the ability to burst and only pay for the resources used. At launch, we will support load balancing HTTP, HTTPS, LDAP, LDAPS, IMAP, FTP, POP3, POP3S and SMTP protocols on either a public interface or internal interface.

As we work through the beta development phase of this project, we’re looking for customers to evaluate and test our API. The ideal customer will be familiar with consuming RESTful web service APIs, as well as the general concepts of load balancing.

If you would like to help us raise the bar on Cloud Load Balancing, please email beta@rackspace.com. Tell us your current configuration and use case ideas for how you would use this new service.  Invitations for our private beta will start to go out this week.

We hope you are excited by this new development, we certainly are! We are also working on lots of other great additions to our services and can’t wait to share them with you in the very near future. Stay tuned!

About the Author

This is a post written and contributed by Josh Odom.

Josh leads product development for the Cloud Platform Product Line where he is responsible for product management, engineering, and operations for the Cloud Sites, Load Balancing, Database and DNS product offerings.


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28 Comments

This is great. Way to go guys. Looking forward to it.

avatar Atuva on November 9, 2010 | Reply

Is this a Linux Cloud Server feature? Are Windows customers supposed to use NLB?

avatar Corey on November 9, 2010 | Reply

Corey,
This service is independent of Cloud Servers, but designed to complement it. It is compatible with both operating systems (or even external services outside of the Rackspace network.)

Josh

avatar Josh Odom on November 9, 2010 | Reply

I would like to know better how this will integrate to cloud servers. In simple terms if its possible. Im a current customer of cloud sites and cloud servers and this is somethig i need for more high end clients, but I have many questions regarding how to use this with a cloud server site. I hope I can get more info. Thanks !

avatar Daniel on November 9, 2010 | Reply

Hi Daniel,
When creating a load balancer, you will be issued a public virtual IP address that will proxy traffic to your backend Cloud Servers nodes over ServiceNet (the 10.x address associated to your load balancer).

You will pay for the traffic that traverse the load balancer’s public interface, but traffic over ServiceNet is free.

Let me know if you have any other questions,
Josh

avatar Josh Odom on November 9, 2010 | Reply

When you talk about Session Persistance for HTTP connections is that for HTTPS also?

thanks,

david

avatar david on November 9, 2010 | Reply

Hi David,
Session persistence will only be available for HTTP traffic as it requires layer 7 introspection. HTTPS traffic will be passed through and you will need to implement another type of persistence mechanism on your backend web servers.

Josh

avatar Josh Odom on November 9, 2010 | Reply

Thanks. We currently use terracotta and it does the job. I do like the idea of the advanced algorithms and static ip addresses.

avatar david on November 9, 2010

Can you tell us any hint regardingg the price ? And also, will this be easy to use as all your services or will this require a bit more configuration etc.

avatar Daniel on November 10, 2010 | Reply

Hi Daniel,
We’re still finalizing the pricing, but it will be competitive with the market. This will be just as easy to use and manage as all of our other services. Setting up the load balancer will be a one-step process via the control panel or API.

Josh

avatar Josh Odom on November 10, 2010 | Reply

When would this service come into production

Regards
Hareem.

avatar Hareem Haque on November 10, 2010 | Reply

Hareem,
Over the next few months, our teams will be trained on this offering and we will begin exposing it to more of our customer base. Once this process is complete and all of our release criteria are met, the beta label will be removed. We have a set of release criteria that the product team compiles and agrees on that we use to determine what the engineering criteria are for this process. It’s too early to estimate a date with any type of specificity.

Josh

avatar Josh Odom on November 11, 2010

[…] Lastly, I led Product and Strategy for the Cloud Sites platform and some of the future platform services still being developed (like Cloud Load Balancing) […]

avatar Moving On In The Cloud - Chad Keck on November 21, 2010 | Reply

If I use the load balancer service, will I still get the bandwidth that comes with my cloud servers or will it be limited by the load balancers (as a Proxy load balancer would)? Is there any estimate on when the service will be available?

I want to run a web service that needs to be online all the time (even with one or multiple servers down for maintenance) and the speed at wich the app serves requests (either DB or file upload/download) needs to be really fast. I wanted to implement a Load Balancer using LVS-TUN, will the Rackspace solution cover my needs or should I implement LVS-TUN on my own?

avatar Hector on January 11, 2011 | Reply

Hector,
You won’t have to contend with bandwidth limitations of the load balancing service in the same way you would if you deployed a solution on top of Cloud Servers. You do, however, have to keep in mind the maximum amount of bandwidth you can consume at peak is the sum of ServiceNet bandwidth your nodes have.

It sounds like this is an ideal solution for you. You do not need to worry about HA, etc. as this is all handled by the service for you.

Josh

avatar Josh Odom on February 14, 2011

+1 on Hector’s question about bandwidth. Can I pool the public-facing bandwidth of the cloud servers I’m load balancing to? Will the backend be routed over servicenet? Will the bandwidth available on that side be equivalent to the sum of the backends’ servicenet bw entitlements?

Thanks!

avatar Scott on January 21, 2011 | Reply

Scott,
There is no bandwidth limitation on the load balancing service itself. Theoretically, the application could consume the maximum amount of ServiceNet bandwidth your Cloud Servers instances have in aggregate.

Backend requests are routed over ServiceNet (you define the IPs as part of the node configuration).

Josh

avatar Josh Odom on February 14, 2011

Looking at the Zeus site, it seems like their tech supports any TCP or UDP based protocol, but this announcement mentions a closed set of TCP protocols as supported. Is Rackspace’s version expected to work with any custom protocol?

avatar Russell Borogove on January 31, 2011 | Reply

Russell,
Initially, the offering will only support the protocols mentioned. If there is something missing that you’d like to see us add, just shoot us an e-mail at beta@rackspace.com

Josh

avatar Josh Odom on February 14, 2011

I am also very interested in using this product. Any news on a potential release date? We’re approaching the “few months” mark and it sounds like a really exciting product!

avatar SteveK on January 31, 2011 | Reply

We’re getting close! We’re rounding out the last few requirements before we move into our public beta phase. Look for more information in the next week or so.

Josh

avatar Josh Odom on February 14, 2011

Sound great.
It will be a pleasure to abandon LVS for an easier solution.

avatar Michael Ben-Nes on February 18, 2011 | Reply

What about Geo-Location load balancing?

avatar Michael Ben-Nes on February 18, 2011 | Reply

[…] November, we announced that we were actively developing a high-performance, on-demand cloud load balancing solution and […]

avatar Rackspace Cloud Computing & Hosting on February 24, 2011 | Reply

Wondering how the cost would look like if I ran my haproxy+keepalived cloud server instances compared with using the out of the box cloud load balancer.

avatar James Nguyen on March 1, 2011 | Reply

Awesome news! Very much needed!

avatar Matt Davis on March 3, 2011 | Reply

Any more news on this? Very interested, I think this is the solution I have been looking for all week.

avatar Kevin on March 5, 2011 | Reply
avatar Angela Bartels [Racker] on March 7, 2011

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