Load Balancer enhancements for real-time applications

“Real-time”, “asynchronous”, “event-driven”, “distributed” are all words familiar to today’s developer.

Two examples where this is more evident than anywhere else are the phenomenal growth of Node.js, and the new HTML5 WebSocket protocol.

Applications built with these technologies often require many concurrent and long-running connections. Thousands of concurrent connections disconnecting and reconnecting adds a considerable amount of unnecessary load, and workarounds tend to add more working parts and/or additional complexity.

So, today we’re announcing two new features for our Cloud Load Balancers to complement these types of workload and deliver high-performance and flexibility.

The first of these features is that you can now specify your own listener timeouts of anything up to 1 day, meaning clients can maintain long running connections without being needlessly disconnected.

The second feature is a new http+ws mode for listeners, which enables you to efficiently serve both plain HTTP and WebSockets traffic over the same port. The Load Balancers automatically detect WebSockets handshakes and upgrade the timeout to 1 day, whilst standard HTTP traffic maintains your normal timeout.

These new options are supported in the latest version of the CLI (0.17.5) which is available right now.

For details of these and other Load Balancer configuration options, check out the step-by-step CLI Guide or Reference documentation.

P.S. If you’re not yet a customer you can sign-up for Brightbox Cloud in just a couple of minutes with no commitment - just pay for what you use by the hour!

posted 21 Mar 2012 by Jeremy Jarvis