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I'm planning to add a hardware load balancer, but I'm not sure if adding one will cause me to lose the ability to restrict traffic by IP ( on folder level by using allow and deny in apache configuration)?

Do you use hardware load balancers to shift traffic with client IP or load balancer IP ?

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This is configurable on most balancers. The most common deployment I've seen has the balancer acting as the default gateway for all backend servers, and 'spoofing' the source IP that the backend servers see, so that web logs and ACLs continue to work as before.

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This is sometimes referred to as the load balancer being "transparent", that is, not changing the source IP address seen by the machines behind it. – David Schwartz Jan 9 '12 at 6:42

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