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Windows Azure Load Balancer

he Microsoft Azure Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) platform enables applications to be easily provisioned in Microsoft’s cloud. Customers requiring load balancing and traffic management control across Azure virtual machines must consider the inherent limitations in the standard Azure load balancing layer. Azure’s built in Load Balancer does not offer Application Layer visibility to provide the best level of service to the users.

The LoadMaster Load Balancer/ADC for Azure is simple to provision within the Azure IaaS platform.

  • Provision through the Azure management portal
  • LoadMaster becomes a Public Endpoint
  • Connect Application Servers to LoadMaster for Azure on creation of the new instance
  • Start load balancing your workload

Compare the Azure built-in Load Balancer and KEMP LoadMaster for Azure

 

 Azure Load BalancerKEMP LoadMaster-for-Azure

Application-Aware L7 load balancing

No

Yes

Balancing methods

Round Robin Only

L4/L7

Server persistence

No

L4/L7 (Cookie and more)

SSL Termination/Offload

No

Yes

Adaptive Agent

No

Yes

 

Introducing Load Balancing in Windows Azure

Before we create a LoadMaster Virtual Machine (VM) in Azure, it is important to understand the traffic flow so that VMs in Windows Azure can be configured appropriately.

Windows Azure IaaS deployments accept traffic only on published endpoints. Any request to access Windows Azure workloads passes through the default load balancing layer of the Windows Azure platform. Figure 1-1depicts the default deployment without the use of KEMP LoadMaster in Azure.

 

 Windows Azure Load Balancer
Figure 1-1: Windows Azure Load Balancer

 

Any workload being published consists of a cloud service, which represents a single Virtual Machine (VM) or multiple VMs. When a VM is created, if a cloud service exists, you have an option to connect the VM to an existing cloud service. As more VMs are connected to an existing VM (and thus to an existing Cloud Service), built-in Windows Azure load balancer distributes connections when creating a load balanced endpoint.

If you wish to use LoadMaster for Azure for your deployment, we must complete the following steps:

  1. The LoadMaster for Azure needs to be deployed first, creating the required cloud service.
  2. All the virtual machines that need to be load balanced using LoadMaster can then be created and must be connected to the existing LoadMaster VM to create the required grouping.
  3. Finally, when creating endpoints, we cannot use Load-Balance traffic on an existing endpoint option as we do not want to use the Windows Azure Load Balancer to load balance incoming connections. Figure 1-2 depicts the flow when LoadMaster for Azure is deployed:

 

LoadMaster for Azure
Figure 1-2: LoadMaster for Azure

 

Notice that VM1, VM2 and VM3 in this example are grouped into a single cloud service and the endpoint for published virtual services will be created only on the LoadMaster VM. By doing this, we receive all load balanced traffic on the LoadMaster VM and the logic of load balancing incoming connections will be applied as per the configured virtual service on LoadMaster for a given workload.

Also notice that VM1, VM2 and VM2 will not have any endpoints as they are not going to be published directly to the internet.

For the Complete Azure Deployment Guide Click Here.