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I want to load balance HTTPS requests across several Linux servers. The application requires session affinity, so once a user gets connected the same server needs to handle all subsequent requests from that user. Is there a reliable way to do this without deploying an external load balancing router or adding any additional hardware? The application will be deployed to a number of clients, some of whom are reluctant to buy more hardware.

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I have used mod_proxy_balancer: http://httpd.apache.org/docs/2.2/mod/mod_proxy_balancer.html

It has the stickyness you need and is a software only solution.

  • The redundancy part is very untrue. You can setup Heartbeat or similar software that will give you redundancy. – Antoine Benkemoun Mar 30 '11 at 6:25
  • @Antoine - fair point. I have removed that warning. – n8whnp Apr 4 '11 at 5:06
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Hardware load balancers provide better performance but you have the option of running a software-only load balancer. There are plenty of open source options available.

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An oldie but a goodie is Resonate CentralDispatch, which does a lot of neat things and can be deployed on your servers or on separate servers. Used it for years before switching to BigIPs. It isn't free though.

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