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We wish to enable some form of load balancing for a Tomcat webapp we're currently using today. Unfortunately, I know almost to nothing about Tomcat load balancing, clustering and so on.

Can anyone share resources that cover the different alternatives, give some handy pointers (maybe some solutions work better in certain types of environment?) or just some tips on solutions to try out? We're currently running Tomcat 5.5 if that makes any difference in features, however no critical obstacles for upgrading to 6.

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What is the operating system and version ? – Mathieu Chateau Feb 4 '10 at 16:06
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Many ways to achieve this...It will depend at least on:

  • Do you use context/session state that must be saved if one server/tomcat crash ?
  • Do you accept commercial solutions ?

Some solutions (from cheapest/simple to costly):

DNS Round robin: client get one server ip, the next client the other and so one.

Windows: NLB. Comes with Windows, free.

Linux: LVS (Linux Virtual Server)

Commercial: Safekit from Evidian

Appliance: F5, Alteon, Radware

You couls also use Apache as a front end to spread load

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Take a look at Teracotta for web sessions.

Use Terracotta's fast, reliable web sessions plugin to get the scalability benefits of a stateless web architecture without overloading your database or rewriting your application. Terracotta for Sessions works with your favorite web framework and your own custom session objects.

The web sessions tutorial lists five simple steps for you to make in order to evaluate the product ( FOSS ).

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