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I have many low end atom servers for a startup project, each server have a few public ip addresses (no private network).

I'm currently in the process of making it failsafe. There now is a load balancer in front of my http servers.

This load balancer is at this point a single point of failure, when it goes down everything becomes unreachable.

I was wondering if there is a low cost solution to remove the single point of failure?

I looked into round robin DNS, but it is quite unreliable.

In addition I looked into heartbeat which looks like a nice solution when you have access to the hardware and can connect network cables.

But in my case i can't attach network cables or add hardware. I only have root access and can install software and reconfigure Linux.


Thanks for the answers, i appreciate it.

But when using heartbeat or Keepalived you need 2 network cards in your server, my server only have 1. That one network card is the main one.

I can't use the main one because when it gets high traffic the heartbeat communication may fail (and trigger shutdown). I don't want that :)

Is there a alternative?

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Add an extra network card to each load balancer, or QoS off a portion of your network traffic for the heartbeat. Are you really expecting to max out a 1Gbps network connection with web traffic? – Chris Thorpe Apr 12 '11 at 8:49
Heartbeat also does its, well, heartbeating over a serial connection, and IME prefers the direct serial connection to any number of ethernet interfaces. As long as each box has an RS232 port, you should be fine. – MadHatter Sep 3 '11 at 6:32

I use Linux Virtual Server along with Keepalived to have 2 redundant / fail-over load-balancers.

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i would recommend also LVS as user78043 already did. Two other, even a bit easier options are haproxy, perlbal or nginx. In any case you would need hearbeat to build a really HA solution with automatic failover.

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I use HAProxy ( in conjunction with Heartbeat (no real hardware reconfiguration actually required) to have 2 fairly low powered servers provide a redundanct load balancing to the web servers behing HAProxy.

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-1 for not answering the question. – Squidly Sep 3 '11 at 4:13

It depends on what type of Load Balancing you are using, and what you mean by load balancing.

If you have some kind of firewall disto such as pfSense, then there are build in clustering and failover solutions you can use.

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