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Using a Free Load Balancer


Use Cases for Free LoadMaster

Development, Test and Pre-Production Environments

For existing LoadMaster customers, Free LoadMaster enables them to align load balancing services across development, testing, pre-production and live environments without incurring additional costs. Organizations can use Free Loadmaster during all service development and testing stages to identify and minimize risks before services move to a production environment.

If you are not a current LoadMaster user, the Free Load Balancer can simplify your development and testing environments. For example, development teams can use header inspection rather than host files or DNS manipulation to select appropriate services when sending server access requests.

Replacement of Open-Source Load Balancers

Open-source load balancers provide great flexibility in terms of customization to integrate with application development and delivery environments. However, this flexibility introduces complexity and risk as Developers and System Administrators must test any customizations after each update, requiring an advanced skillset to maintain.

The Free LoadMaster removes this risk and complexity, as it is subjected to the same extensive automated test processes as our commercial products and has templates to simplify deployment in complex environments.

HA and DR for Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS)

As authentication services such as Active Directory (AD) extend beyond the corporate data center to cloud services such as Azure and Microsoft 365, there is a need to add resilience. Core to any business continuity plan is the ability to rapidly recover after a service outage with minimal impact on users. As authentication is fundamental for application access, services such as AD must quickly recover from outages.

Working with ADFS (Active Directory Federation Services), Free LoadMaster can use GSLB (Global Server Load Balancing) for cross-site resilience and local server Load Balancing to provide server resilience. Free LoadMaster can provide a load balanced ADFS service that integrates in-house ADFS deployment with ADFS in a cloud service. In the event of a site outage, authentication services remain available from another site, and federated services such as Microsoft 365 continue to operate without interruption.

PCI (Payment Card Industry) Validation

Organizations that process credit card details must comply with the Payments Card Industry (PCI) standards. The process and requirements vary, but even the most basic PCI Self-Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ) identifies a requirement in section 6.6 to assess vulnerabilities on an ongoing basis. It must be done at least annually or after any changes to the infrastructure. This is an onerous task if developers have to review lots of Application code for vulnerabilities.

The PCI Security Standards Council permits the use of a Web Application Firewall (WAF) as an alternative to manual verification and automated PCI compliance assessment. Free LoadMaster includes a WAF engine that can be configured with custom rules to meet the requirements of the PCI SAQ.

Windows Network Load Balancing (WNLB) Replacement

While Windows server platforms include basic Windows Network Load Balancing (WNLB), it is only Layer 4 load balancing. As such, it has no awareness of applications or server health and can only use the source IP address as a session identifier. The lack of awareness of applications and server status can lead to WNLB forwarding traffic to an overloaded server or a server where an application is unavailable to service requests.

Using Free Load Balancer to replace WNLB provides application and server status awareness for more intelligent load balancing. Also, it removes the overhead of WNLB from application servers and chatty WNLB unicast broadcasts from the network.

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