Viability of nginx instead of hardware load balancer?

David Murphy david at
Wed Sep 16 00:01:04 MSD 2009

>David Murphy wrote:
>> Not sure if this is possible ( as I haven't tried it) but what about 
>> building  nginx on Damn Small Linux and having a boot cd  or ramdisk, or
>> even  boot flash.  You could literally take   something like  a
>> 1425 or so and have a kicking minimalistic   LB  hardware running on
>Yes, that's a good idea. Is DSL the best distro for such things?
Well not necessarily but it does have the smallest foot print, thus  needing
less on chip memory and lowering cost of  creating such an appliance, heck
technically speaking you could get a  WRT-54G, turn off the wireless after
installing  DD-WRT ( DSL variant), and compile  nginx into it. Would be an
interesting proof of concept for sure.

>> Personally what I would do is  (assuming you have ESX), run 2  VM's  
>> both running  nginx on dedicated NICs. Then one your switching set up 
>> an active/active fail over to those nice ( and have the VM's on 
>> separate ESX hosts).
>> You would then have a fully redundant LB system so if nginx on one node
>> crashes   the fail over would route all traffic  to  the other  LB. 
>I hadn't thought to explore the possibility of virtualization. That's given
me some good foood for thought, thanks.

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