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2X Load Balancer - customer experience

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  • 2X Load Balancer - customer experience

    Hi, everyone.
    One of the forum's members PMed me and asked me details about the 2X LoadBalancer, a product I use to load-balance my 4-servers TS farm. With his approval, I decided to share my experience with the whole forum.
    I started using 2XLoadBalancer in January 2006, following two months of intensive, unsuccessful efforts to implement Microsoft's NLB and Session Directory. The major problem was with the way Microsoft implements the multicast: the NLB sends multicast to a MAC address that my Cisco switches interpreted as broadcast. The result was that all my switches (around 20) were flooded. Eventually, I gave up and went for a 3rd party solution.
    Among those I checked was the 2X LoadBalancer (those days was a stand-alone product, now it comes embedded with an Application Server).
    I downloaded, installed and started testing the trial version (30 days available). After only two weeks, I went to my boss and asked her for the budget to buy it. Before the 30 days ended, it was registered already.
    Pros (the points that eased the decision were):
    - ease of installation, configuration and use;
    - small footprint in server's memory: a bit more than 9MB for the server and half of this for the agent;
    - one can choose between two major load balancing methods: round-robin or resource-based. When resource-based method is in place, the load balancing is real-time, based on the load on the server, due to the agents installed on every server. The factors to be tested are CPU, memory, number of sessions or an over-all grade based on all the above;
    - the "noise" on the network is more than bearable (there are some traces, but not that bad. Sure not compared to the Microsoft's NLB);
    - some mechanism similar to Microsoft's Session Directory available, built in into the software.
    - not free;
    - the pricing is based on the number of the servers to be balanced: 2,4,8 or up to 100;
    - the 3389 port is used by the software. Can be changed, but then there can be problems: my thin clients, for instance, don't know to connect by RDP to another port except 3389. Thus, the Remote Administration port should be changed;
    - there's need for an additional server to run the software (cannot be installed on any of the TS servers). For me, it ran for a year on an old server, without any problem. Now it runs on a VMWare virtual machine;
    - the software acts (in my setup) as a gateway. That means, that if the service fails on the server, any communications between the clients and the TS farm is gone. As I said already, it never happened to me (except once, when I restarted the server after an update );

    I am attaching two screenshots, of the monitor that gives me an idea of the load of any of the balanced servers and a portion of the log, that writes which client connected to which server and its data at the specific moment. The version I have is older than the one shown on the site, so it is pretty useless to send screenshots from it.

    As a conclusion: I am very satisfied with the product. Good price and good performance, compared to other commercial LB solutions.

    Hope you will find this info useful. Good luck to us all.

    Note: I am not in any way affiliated to the 2X company whatsoever.
    Attached Files

    Sorin Solomon

    In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.

  • #2
    Re: 2X Load Balancer - customer experience

    I will Sticky and Close this post until Yuval14 passes his expert eye over it to see if it is worth keeping as a Sticky reference.
    1 1 was a racehorse.
    2 2 was 1 2.
    1 1 1 1 race 1 day,
    2 2 1 1 2