Sharing a Heavy Load - New Load Balancer Options

April 4, 2012

I always think of Ford, Chevy and Toyota pick-up truck commercials when I think of load balancers. The selling points for trucks invariably boil down to performance, towing capacity and torque, and I've noticed that users evaluating IT network load balancers have a similar simplified focus.

The focus is always about high performance, scalability, failover protection and network optimization. When it comes to "performance," users are looking for reliable load balancing techniques — whether it be round robin, least connections, shortest response or persistent IP. Take one of the truck commericals and replace "towing capacity" with "connections per second" and "torque" with "application acceleration" or "SSL offloading," and you've got yourself one heck of a load balancer sales pitch.

SoftLayer's goal has always been to offer a variety of local and global load balancing options, and today, I get to announce that we're broadening that portfolio.

So what's new?

We've added the capability of SSL offloading to our shared load balancers and launched a dedicated load balancer option as well. These new additions to the product portfolio continue our efforts to make life easier on our customers as they build their own fully operational virtual data center.

What's so great about SSL offloading? It accelerates the processing of SSL encrypted websites and makes it easier to manage SSL certificates. Think of this as adding more torque to your environment, speeding up how quickly certs can be decrypted (coming in) and encrypted (heading out).

Up until now, SoftLayer has offered SSL at the server level. This requires multiple SSL certifications for each server or special certs that can be used on multiple servers. With SSL offloading, incoming traffic is decrypted at the load balancer, rather than at the server level, and the load balancer also encrypts outbound traffic. This means traffic is processed in one place — at the load balancer — rather than at multiple server locations sitting behind the load balancer.

With SoftLayer SSL offloading on shared load balancers, customers can start small with few connections and grow on the fly by adding more connections or moving to a dedicated load balancer. This makes it a breeze to deploy, manage, upgrade and scale.

What do the new load balance offerings look like in the product catalog? Here's a breakdown:

Shared Load Balancing
250 Connections with SSL $99.99
500 Connections with SSL $199.99
1000 Connections with SSL $399.99
Dedicated Load Balancer
Standard with SSL $999.00

I'm not sure if load balancing conjures up the same images for you of hauling freight or working on a construction site, but however you think about them, load balancers play an integral part in optimizing IT workloads and network performance ... They're doing the heavy lifting to help get the job done. If you're looking for a dedicated or shared load balancer solution, you know who to call.

-Matt

Comments

April 4th, 2012 at 7:32pm

prices look a bit whack, why is the dedicate LB cheaper than a shared one?

April 5th, 2012 at 4:39am

What about auto scalability? What about paying only for the load balancing you actually use? This is by far not even matching Rackspace and Amazon's Elastic Load Balancing, not in cost and neither in functionality. It's as if Softlayer doesn't really understand the "cloud" as a concept. And they shouldn't be proud but be ashmed for being so late with even a small upgrade.

And beside that, Softlayer lacks "information", amazon and rackspace have plenty. Softlayer leaves even professional IT people in the dark about how things actually work. As if only people who already know their systems should use it. And products are not "ready for use", such as the PHP SDK for Object Storage is hardly more than an example, file transfer is NOT included, only in memory content. As if they expect all their customers to directly start coding with Curl.. to make it themselves. Softlayer object storage => more than a week, amazon S3 => hours to deploy.

What about making things easier and user friendly for customers? It doesn't matter how much experience someone has, if he has to code first the basic functionality of an SDK.. then that's a Softlayer issue.

September 20th, 2012 at 9:20am

What type of shared load balancers are being used - are there other features like TCP buffering or any layer 7 functionality?

April 4th, 2013 at 8:30pm

I love the idea. Trying to use a 2048bit certificate is murder on a server. I am puzzled by the mechanics. How do they plan on doing it? Does this mean that now smaller companies are going to be able to do credit cards again or will compliance still be way too expensive?
Brian: I second your motion for more information.
Roe Baker: Exactly how long have you worked for rackspace (or is it amazon)? Seriously, at least admit it. You really shouldn't reference how professional people are treated, you do not seem to have a baseline.

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Comments

April 4th, 2012 at 7:32pm

prices look a bit whack, why is the dedicate LB cheaper than a shared one?

April 5th, 2012 at 4:39am

What about auto scalability? What about paying only for the load balancing you actually use? This is by far not even matching Rackspace and Amazon's Elastic Load Balancing, not in cost and neither in functionality. It's as if Softlayer doesn't really understand the "cloud" as a concept. And they shouldn't be proud but be ashmed for being so late with even a small upgrade.

And beside that, Softlayer lacks "information", amazon and rackspace have plenty. Softlayer leaves even professional IT people in the dark about how things actually work. As if only people who already know their systems should use it. And products are not "ready for use", such as the PHP SDK for Object Storage is hardly more than an example, file transfer is NOT included, only in memory content. As if they expect all their customers to directly start coding with Curl.. to make it themselves. Softlayer object storage => more than a week, amazon S3 => hours to deploy.

What about making things easier and user friendly for customers? It doesn't matter how much experience someone has, if he has to code first the basic functionality of an SDK.. then that's a Softlayer issue.

September 20th, 2012 at 9:20am

What type of shared load balancers are being used - are there other features like TCP buffering or any layer 7 functionality?

April 4th, 2013 at 8:30pm

I love the idea. Trying to use a 2048bit certificate is murder on a server. I am puzzled by the mechanics. How do they plan on doing it? Does this mean that now smaller companies are going to be able to do credit cards again or will compliance still be way too expensive?
Brian: I second your motion for more information.
Roe Baker: Exactly how long have you worked for rackspace (or is it amazon)? Seriously, at least admit it. You really shouldn't reference how professional people are treated, you do not seem to have a baseline.

Leave a Reply

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