DCN May 2017 - Page 35

load balancers & application performance The volume of online transactions has continued to grow exponentially over the past few years across an increasing number of web enabled devices. balancers that are correctly sized in front of individual applications or tenants. This distributes the traffic burden across multiple load balancers and provides immediate isolation of services enabling organisations to reduce downtime for all shared tenants due to the maintenance window for one tenant. It also reduces costs since it eliminates unnecessary overprovisioning of hardware. Additionally, with centralised control, companies can automate the scaling out of load balancing services by dynamically invoking additional software load balancers where needed. This boosts application availability and performance. Webscale performance and new encryption algorithms Distributing load balancing services to achieve cost efficiency Appliance based load balancers which have been a staple of the networking industry are proving to be both an expensive and a limiting choice for enterprises. The continuous heavy investment in bigger and better performing load balancers is a real issue for companies since these appliances come at a huge cost and are typically overprovisioned to handle unexpected traffic spikes. Since they rely on proprietary hardware, these solutions are not elastic and do not enable automation of services. The ability to mitigate such wasteful spend could prove a huge positive. New strategies for per-application load balancing provides the answer. Instead of deploying a single load balancer to service several applications, some organisations are implementing centrally orchestrated software load ‘Appliance based load balancers are proving to be both an expensive and a limiting choice for enterprises.’ Advances in the performance of standard Intel x86 servers have enabled large cloud service providers and web giants such as Google and Amazon to deliver reliable, high performance application services. These webscale strategies rely on low cost x86 servers, distributed architectures, software and API driven automation, and rich visibility and analytics. Similarly, software load balancers implemented on standard Intel x86 servers are now becoming a mainstream approach in enterprises thanks to their price/ performance ratio. Software load balancers imple mented on standard Intel x86 servers can now terminate more than 2,500 SSL transactions per second (TPS) at the lower end, to nearly 75,000 SSL TPS on a 36-core Intel x86 server. Compared to hardware based load balancing, that means software defined solutions can sometimes incur just a tenth of the cost for similar scale. Whilst the RSA based public- key cryptography remains generally popular, it has been the increasing adoption of Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC) that requires smaller key sizes to provide equivalent security that has proved a benefit for many. Smaller key sizes are less computationally intensive, and result in better performance of servers handling SSL connections and improve the overall number of SSL transactions per second (TPS). Using load balancers for application performance analytics The load balancer occupies perhaps the most privileged position in a network (in line with applications), but it is continually underleveraged as a source of real time application performance information. Load balancers could play a much more expanded role in application networking services with architectures based on software defined principles. By using a distributed data plane of high performance software load balancers (that run on standard x86 hardware) orchestrated by a central controller the system can collect and analyse millions of continuous application data points in real time. This enables the load balancer to effectively provide a rich amount of application insights creating a ‘Tivo-like’ experience for reviewing application analytics. This means that an essential component of your network also becomes a critical application analysis tool. It gives network administrators a unique network based perspective of application performance, security posture and end user experience. By zeroing in on application performance or connectivity issues, application developers and networking teams can work together to expedite troubleshooting. May 2017 | 35