Viability of nginx instead of hardware load balancer?

Gena Makhomed gmm at
Wed Sep 16 00:16:11 MSD 2009

On Tuesday, September 15, 2009 at 18:19:38, David Murphy wrote:

DM> Not sure if this is possible ( as I haven't tried it)
DM> but what about building  nginx on Damn Small Linux and having
DM> a boot cd  or ramdisk, or even  boot flash.  You could literally take
DM> something like  a   PowerEdge 1425 or so and have a kicking minimalistic
DM> LB  hardware running on nginx.

DSL - Desktop OS, linux distro for i486 with 2.4.x linux kernel,
optimized for minimal RAM usage and old computers.
no linux 2.6.x kernel - means no "epoll" at all.

therefore - DSL is totally useless for high traffic load balancer as base OS.

DM> Technically if you were so inclined, you could even  write  DSL and nginx
DM> to a prom chip so its  100% automated, I'm better if nginx  does everything
DM> you need it would be a lot cheaper than the hardware normal route with the
DM> same if not better stability. 

question was not about most cheaper "solution", but about "high traffic LB".

DM> Personally what I would do is  (assuming you have ESX), run 2  VM's  both
DM> running  nginx on dedicated NICs. Then one your switching set up an
DM> active/active fail over to those nice ( and have the VM's on separate ESX
DM> hosts).

DM> You would then have a fully redundant LB system so if nginx on one node
DM> crashes the fail over would route all traffic  to  the other  LB.

if, for example, crashes mainboard of esx server with these VM's -
both VM's go down. so, this is not "a fully redundant LB system".

hardware of ESX server is "single point of failure".

Best regards,

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