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We are rolling out our application suite onto different sites around North America and the United Kingdom. We have put a regional load balancers in place with ratios set to separate the load between the different sites.

I've been asked to come up with a way to make sure we've configured the balancers correctly and we aren't just hitting the same box repeatedly. I've only done this manually by asking different colleagues to hit a URL which exposes the underlying hostname.

I'd like to know if there's a tool (more gui, then script) anyone can recommend which would allow me to test that everything is working as expected?

The first candidate I've found is JMeter, but I seem to find more results based around simulating high load, then checking load balancing.

An additional requirement is that the load balancers remember your i.p. and consistently send you to the same site post initial contact. So the tool will probably have to be distributed in nature.

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5 Answers 5

The other answer to this is to start graphing load on the destination hosts, and you should see it split roughly similar to the weightings of the load balancer.

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You could do this with HP Performance Center (formerly Mercury LoadRunner), but it'll cost you. Big time.

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maybe this article can help you out. It's about testing and tuning load balancers and networks.
However I think that won't help you much as it covers only the basic principles. I think that you are best of with a company specialized in doing these kinds of tests like ixia.

Here is a link to some information about their load balancing test

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I'd say what You need is a beta phase of the project in which You can test those things. Or something like that. You need to analyze logs of Your backend servers to see where the clients requests are getting to.

Also I think that hiring an external company will be needed every time You change something in the loadbalancer system, to ensure that it works flawlessly (and You will change Your system). As this seems to be Your core infrastructure, I'd suggest testing it in-house.

What is the load balancer that You are using?

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jMeter offers regular expression matching. I've not tried but there should be some way to set up assertions and track the counts in one of the built-in listeners, I would think.

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