Load balancing with the Apache http server
Today's web performance and availability requirements make load balancing indispensable. In this article, we show you how to set up an effective load balancing system using features built into the Apache web server.
A multitude of technologies support load balancing for web servers. Load balancers come in all shapes and sizes, from simple DNS-based techniques through vast and versatile proprietary systems. In some cases, however, the load balancing features you need might be available already through the Apache web server. In this article, I describe some strategies for load balancing with Apache.
The schematic in Figure 1 shows the underlying structure of a software-based balancing system. In this scenario, several front-end load balancers accept incoming user requests and distribute them to a pool of back-end servers on the basis of a predefined scheme. Multiple individual systems can run in parallel to provide a fail-safe (shown in the background in Figure 1). Apache includes a number of modules for supporting load balancing (Table 1), and you'll need to make sure any modules you intend to use are loaded:
LoadModule xyz_module modules/mod_xyz.so
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