Nginx - TCP balancer

Kamil Gorlo kgorlo at
Wed Jun 11 23:09:05 MSD 2008

Hi all,

I have question about Nginx "features". Is it possible to run Nginx as
a transparent load balancer (which works on TCP layer, not HTTP)??

My case is that I have 5 of backends (strong, 4 core machines) which
communicates with users over HTTPS (it's some kind of authentication
service - user sends short https requests, get response, and does not
keep connection any more; so user spends only few seconds on this
service, but there are many users). Till today I was using simple dns
balancing between those machines, but now I need something more

So, I have another 2 machines (this time, they have only single core)
which I want to be load balancers. But they cannot work on HTTP layer,
as a standard load balancer, because of SSL - they simply does not
have resources to do this SSL stuff. My idea is to use some kind of
transparent load balancer on those machines - they should only forward
requests to backends and all resource consuming work should be done on
backends (SSL handshake, etc.).

Can Nginx do that? If not, do you know any tools which can work as TCP
balancers (I found HAProxy, but haven't tested it)?

Do you have any experience in similar situations?

Best regards,

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