Load Balancing a Cluster of Web Servers using Distributed Packet Rewriting
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Citation (published version)Aversa, Luis; Bestavros, Azer. "Load Balancing a Cluster of Web Servers using Distributed Packet Rewriting", Technical Report BUCS-1999-001, Computer Science Department, Boston University, January 6, 1999. [Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/2144/1778]
In this paper, we propose and evaluate an implementation of a prototype scalable web server. The prototype consists of a load-balanced cluster of hosts that collectively accept and service TCP connections. The host IP addresses are advertised using the Round Robin DNS technique, allowing any host to receive requests from any client. Once a client attempts to establish a TCP connection with one of the hosts, a decision is made as to whether or not the connection should be redirected to a different host---namely, the host with the lowest number of established connections. We use the low-overhead Distributed Packet Rewriting (DPR) technique to redirect TCP connections. In our prototype, each host keeps information about connections in hash tables and linked lists. Every time a packet arrives, it is examined to see if it has to be redirected or not. Load information is maintained using periodic broadcasts amongst the cluster hosts.