Okay, I've been looking at layer 4 load balancing solutions for 10 gigabit links.

I need the following properties

Works at 10Gig ethernet speeds.

Can support long live tcp connections.

up to 1mil live tcp connections.

Balancer not involved in the return path.

Fault tolerant with tcp session fail over.

low latency and good through put.

can be scripted.

Either a software or hardware solution. Can it be done? Anyone doing this?


F5 probably has the hardware you're looking for. Price might convince you that TCP session failover is going to drive your solution price up tremendously.

Brocade ServerIron is an L4-L7 switch that I believe also handles TCP session failover.

LVS does handle it, but, even having a load balancer pulled out, I've lost my ssh session more than once. IPVS handles Layer 4, but again, ssh sessions are a toss-up.

Having the balancer not involved in the return path makes your TCP session failover much more difficult.

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  • why is tcp fail over impossible if you use direct server return? – The Unix Janitor Mar 23 '10 at 10:13
  • Difficult, not impossible. What TCP Sessions are you trying to failover? WWW/MySQL is much more tolerant than SSH/replication. – deleted Mar 23 '10 at 19:51

Have you looked at LVS? It will meet most of those requirements. You might have a more difficult time finding a solution for tcp session failover but I've not sought that specific requirement before, as my application architecture could reasonably handle failover without it.

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