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BalanceNG - The Software Load Balancer

The Software Load Balancer and Embeddable ADC

BalanceNG certified system
Thomas-Krenn LES LoadBalancer
certified OEM Load-Balancers


What is BalanceNG® ?

BalanceNG is a modern, multithreading software load balancer available for Linux, macOS and Solaris operating systems. BalanceNG utilizes its own highly specialized IP stack for IPv4 and IPv6 and implements an independent active/passive cluster environment based on VRRP and the "bngsync" session table synchronization protocol.

Key features are its outstanding packet processing performance and its easy integrability in datacenter networks and OEM product lines which make it the perfect choice for network operators, hosting companies and Telco product designers.

General Features

  • Layer 2 (Ethernet) "switching engine" based software load balancer.
  • Running under macOS (BPF API), Linux (Using the PF_PACKET socket API) and Solaris (STREAMS/DLPI API).
  • IPv6 ready (BalanceNG V3)
  • Backup targets (hosts) specifiable in case of failure of all primary targets.
  • "Alert" and "Upalert" notification script interface.
  • Direct Server Return (DSR) operation support.
  • Unchanged client addresses on IP-level.
  • Small, very fast and reliable.
  • Simple to implement and administer.
  • Simple "init script style" arguments like "start", "stop" and "status" (and "control" for interactive configuration and control).
  • Interactive communications mode with command line editing.
  • Pcap packet dumping with automated dumpfile rotation (e.g. to implement a "transparent forensic logging bridge").
  • Multi-Node High Availability capability using standard VRRP (Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol).
  • "All service load balancing" based on client IP address allows generic load balancing independent of specific ports.
  • SNMP support integrating into Net-SNMP with the BalanceNG MIB.
  • Up to 128 parallel instances (fully independent BalanceNG load balancers) on the same host machine.
  • Up to 1024 load balancing target servers (hard limit) per instance.
  • Up to 512 virtual servers (hard limit) per instance.
  • NAT state replication between master and backup node.
  • VRRP tracking supported to allow automatic resource tracking and failover.
  • Location-based server load-balacing utilizing a very fast in-memory IP-to-location database (IPDB/LGRP).
  • DNS-based GSLB (Global Server Load-Balancing).

Session Table Features

  • Session table capable to hold 10 million sessions per 512MByte of main memory.
  • Support of session table state replication / session synchronization between VRRP master and backup.
  • Session persistence based on client address and optional source port.

Available Load Balancing Methods

  • agent: based on bngagent returned value (system load or user supplied script return). Bngagent supplied as open source and precompiled binaries.
  • bw: based on overall bandwidth
  • bwin: based on incoming bandwidth
  • bwout: based on outgoing bandwidth
  • hash: based on hash function called with source IP address
  • plugin: based on user supplied plugin script or program
  • random: based on pseudo randomness (optionally weighted)
  • rndagent: based on agent returned value, but randomized
  • rr: based on simple round robin
  • session: based on the least number of current sessions

Available Health Check Methods

  • agent: Target server side user supplied script or program functionality
  • ping: ICMP echo request/reply health check
  • script: user supplied health check script or program (Mon monitoring daemon scripts and other tools like "wget" are supported for many common protocols like HTTP, SNMP, LDAP, POP3, IMAP, FTP, DNS and many more).
  • tcpopen: TCP open health check

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