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I'm considering setting up a PerlBal as a load-balancer for our Django based (Apache) site. We don't have any SSL, and ideally I'd like to set up PerlBal to make everything as effecient as possible but minimise the setup time as I've never done it before. The docs make the install seem easy, but I couldn't determine if they support automatic server-failover detection. If one of my apache servers breaks - will PerlBal still send requests to it? Any tips and tricks for a first time PerlBal install?

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Perlbal is nice and pretty easy to work with...

For server fail over, Perlbals main concept is the "verify_backend" setting, see the docs. With this Perlbal will make a HTTP Options request to the webnode, and will not route traffic to the webnode until it answers the Options request.

Regarding tips and tricks:

  • Perlbal has a nice mailing list, browse trough it first.
  • There is an optional HTTP headers module, which increases performance -- but you may not benefit from the C Headers on a lightly loaded system.
  • Since Perlbal is written in, well, Perl, be aware that it consumes some RAM.

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