Load balancing and application delivery in VMware vCloud. How to best serve your applications?

Whether you are building a private cloud or deploying applications over a public cloud infrastructure, you will be using application delivery functionality such as load balancing to scale out application workloads. The level of required application delivery functionality differs between environments. While cutting edge web applications are often designed using REST oriented architectures which require the load balancer only to distribute traffic evenly, typical applications heavily rely on application delivery functionality such as SSL offloading, L7 policies, and session stickiness to properly operate. Furthermore, due to the strategic placement of ADCs in the application stack – in front of the application – security and performance optimization are natural extensions to effectively optimize application delivery.

In cloud datacenters, the ability to control the resources of the application delivery controller and enable advanced functionality, extremely improves the potential benefits of deploying applications using a cloud infrastructure. When the IT department is building a private cloud infrastructure with the motivation to migrate as many applications to the new platform, the ability to maintain similar application delivery functionality as outside of the cloud is very useful. The way to achieve both resource control and compatibility with application deployment requirements to match the physical IT is by enhancing the application blue print, consisting of the various application components with an application delivery workload.  Application delivery workloads in a private cloud application blueprint should be automatically provisioned with the application and fully managed automatically throughout the application lifecycle.

VMware vCloud is one of the most popular cloud management platforms for enterprises. The platform offers the ability to integrate cloud services such as load balancing and security into the vCloud Network and Security (vCNS) framework. vCNS services are delivered via the vShield architecture encompassing the vShield manager and vShield Edge workloads placed as part of the application blueprints (vApp) in every cloud tenant environment. Radware’s Alteon LBaaS solution offers native integration to vCNS as a plugin to the vShield manager which takes over the load balancing functionality of vCNS. Once installed, the Alteon LBaaS will provision and configure Alteon VA instances as per vApp or cloud tenant requirements, while the entire interaction of the cloud tenant with load balancing management is done via the vCloud UI – hence there is no need to be an Alteon expert in order to use the solution. One of the unique aspects of this solution is the fact that each cloud tenant or application are provisioned a dedicated Alteon VA workload such that they can design any functionality needed into their environment without any resource related concerns. Furthermore, the Alteon LBaaS integration allows the cloud operators to build custom Alteon LBaaS “service profiles” representing advanced Alteon functionality and resource related requirements (capacity, HA…) and offer any of these services for the tenants or vApps to consume autonomously – again, without the need to master the Alteon UI.

By nature of business critical and other typical applications requiring advanced enterprise functionality as well as dedicated Application delivery resources, Together with Alteon LBaaS, VMware vCloud can be utilized by enterprises far more than they could have before and becomes a true alternative to traditional IT footprints and allows enterprises to become far more efficient.

The Alteon LBaaS plugin for VMware vCloud is the first in a family of plugins currently available for OpenStack based cloud operating systems as well as HP based cloud OS.

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Lior Cohen

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