Does CentOS 9 Load Balance Web Traffic?

Does CentOS 9 Load Balance Web Traffic?

CentOS Stream 9 — also known as CentOS 9 — is Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL)’s last and most recent version of the CentOS Stream continuous-delivery distribution platform. The CentOS 9 platform is designed to provide developers and IT professionals with an open source development option for stream distribution. It has been reported that CentOS was discontinued in 2021, but a large number of IT professionals have opted to continue using this technology due to its good stability and high performance levels. 

What is CentOS 9 and How Does it Differ From RHEL? 

Developers have the ability to test, develop and utilize CentOS 9, which touts virtually all of the features and functionalities that you would find on Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). Red Hat Enterprise Linux is designed for corporate usage and users enjoy features such as comprehensive support and periodic software updates — although this does come with a price tag.

CentOS 9 Stream, on the other hand, is an open source platform that can be installed and utilized free of charge. It offers the same basic features and functionalities as what you’ll find in RHEL — in fact, the stream updates are identical — but CentOS 9 Stream support is limited to what you can find on the community forums. 

CentOS 9 Stream has a unique release cycle, with new features undergoing testing on Fedora before the new version is released in CentOS Stream and in the paid corporate version, Red Hat Enterprise Linux. 

According to the official CentOS website, “CentOS Stream [has been] developed through collaboration between the CentOS community and the RHEL engineering team. Although many CentOS Stream contributions derive from Red Hat employees, CentOS Stream thrives on community support. CentOS Stream is a stable, reliable platform for open source communities to expand upon, allowing people from all areas and backgrounds to collaborate in an open environment.” 

CentOS 9 Stream is regarded as a popular choice for use as a development testing platform, particularly if you’re deploying an upcoming release of RHEL.

How Does CentOS 9 Stream Work With Load Balancing? 

Load balancing has emerged as a must-have for virtually any and every feature that uses server technology, from websites, to networks, web apps, mobile applications, and beyond. 

Load balancers work by intercepting incoming server traffic before it reaches the server pool. Typically, the server requests are passed along to the server pool, where the server responds to the request by serving up text, images, video, and other data. The volume of incoming client requests can be significant, particularly for large, prominent websites or popular mobile applications. These platforms can submit thousands or even millions of server requests on a concurrent basis. This elevates the chances of server overload, which can result in error messages, slowdowns, and even complete crashes with downtime. 

The load balancer hub server works by breaking up these “clumps” of incoming server traffic. The server requests are evaluated and distributed across the server pool according to predetermined load balancing algorithms. The hub server can also perform server health checks prior to dispatching incoming client requests to a given server. This ensures high availability and a higher level of performance, while simultaneously minimizing the chances that a user will receive a dreaded server error message. If a health check reveals a problem, the affected server is taken offline and flagged for maintenance. 

In the case of CentOS 9 Stream, load balancing improves performance, speed and reliability. Load balancers also allow for better scalability, empowering companies to increase or decrease its server pool to meet changing demand. 

What Load Balancers Can You Use With CentOs 9 Stream? 

HAProxy is generally the preferred option for load balancing CentOS 9 web traffic. HAProxy — which stands for high availability proxy — is an open source load balancing reverse proxy that works well with HTTP and TCP-based app and web traffic. 

Major apps and well-known websites use HAProxy load balancers to improve user experience and performance. Some of these include GitHub, Twitter, and Instagram, among others. HAProxy is especially well-suited to high-traffic platforms and websites because it processes incoming server requests very rapidly with relatively few steps. HAProxy achieves this with optimized and efficient CPU processes such as maintaining connections with a single CPU for as long as possible. The caching proxy also stores its server responses on RAM, allowing for subsequent requests to leverage that data and thereby avoiding the need to perform another server request. It is also possible to make HAProxy operations conditional if you use logical operators to combine multiple ACLS. 

IT staff can install and configure HAProxy using Apache web server. 

HAProxy has emerged as a preferred load balancing reverse proxy thanks to its performance, scalability and its high level of security. In fact, HAProxy features robust security measures such as privilege drops and chroot. 

Other Options for CentOS 9 Load Balancing for Web Traffic

While HAProxy is the most popular load balancer for CentOS 9 Stream, iot is by no means the only option to consider. There are numerous third-party load balancers that can be utilized for CentOS 9 Stream, although it does take a fair amount of expertise and knowledge to identify the best solution for your needs and requirements. In fact, the wrong load balancer may bring little or no benefit to your technology, effectively underscoring the importance of finding the right solution. 

Identifying the right load balancer for CentOS can be a challenge due to the sheer number of available options. Beyond this, there are also a wide variety of load balancing algorithms to consider as you pursue a load balancer implementation. The right algorithm must be utilized in order to achieve maximum benefit from your load balancer, regardless of the actual load balancer type. The algorithm determines how the incoming traffic is handled and distributed, making it a key component for high-performance and reliability. 

If you’re seeking a high-performance load balancer for CentOS 9 Stream or another server-reliant technology, the team at Resonate can help. Resonate specializes in providing reliable, scalable, cost-effective high-performance load balancers to clients who are using a variety of different platforms. This includes CentOS, RHEL, and many other platforms. Contact the team at Resonate to get started finding the best load balancer for CentOS 9 Stream, RHEL, and beyond.