Monday, October 5, 2015

Baker Street: Avoiding Bottlenecks with a Client-Side Load Balancer for Microservices

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In a typical microservice architecture, multiple instances of each microservice are deployed for availability and scalability. This limits the impact of the failure of a single microservice instance and maintains overall system reliability. Successfully adopting this architecture requires a load balancing mechanism to ensure that incoming requests are spread across all of the available instances, rather than overloading some instances at the same time other instances are under-utilized.

Conventional wisdom suggests a central load balancer is the appropriate mechanism for distributing requests between available microservice instances. This can be done two ways: requests to all microservices can be sent to a central load balancer for balanced distribution between the available instances (possibly with real-time health checks), or each microservice can have its own central load balancer handling only requests for that microservice. Popular choices for load balancing include HAProxy and Amazon’s Elastic Load Balancer (ELB).

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