Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 — also known as RHEL 8 — is one of the leading Linux operating systems worldwide. In fact, the developers claim that as of 2022, over half of all deployments within the past 24 months utilized RHEL 8 technology.
Like many platforms, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 works with an Apache HTTP web server. Apache HTTP web servers are just one of the many types of server that can be deployed on RHEL 8. But like all servers, Apache is prone to overloads and sluggishness when incoming server requests arrive en masse. The solution: Load balancing technology. But how do you actually go about load balancing a Red Hat 8 web server?
Understanding Apache HTTP Web Servers and How Load Balancing Works
To address the issue of load balancing an Apache HTTP web server within the Red Hat 8 Enterprise Linux operating system, it is essential that you have a firm understanding of how it all works.
Apache is amongst the world’s most prominent web servers, with a majority of the internet’s content architected to work with this technology.
The Apache HTTP web server works to connect incoming server requests from internet users by leveraging hypertext transport protocol — or HTTP — technology. The HTTP server then generates a response which serves up content to that client. Usually, that content takes the form of a website page, but the response can contain any other document, file or image that is stored on the web.
The Apache HTTP web server can be integrated with the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 operating system. But to ensure maximum performance and efficiency, a load balancer is really essential.
Load balancers are perfect for web servers, amongst others. A load balancer works by intercepting incoming client requests, such as a request to view a web page from a user’s internet browser. If a server were to receive multiple client requests around the same point in time, this could lead to low availability levels and sluggish performance. In the most extreme cases, the server may be overloaded, resulting in server errors and server crashes with the all-dreaded downtime.
The web server load balancer comes into play by intercepting traffic before it reaches the server pool. Then, a primary hub server uses a predetermined load balancing algorithm to evaluate the client requests and then it determines how the incoming server requests are to be distributed. It seeks out servers with high availability and a good health status and then sends server requests to those servers. Servers that fail their health check are removed from service for maintenance, averting a negative user experience in the process.
Users have come to expect a high level of performance and speed, particularly on the web. As a result, websites can suffer tremendously if their web server is struggling. This underscores the importance of deploying a load balancing solution for the Apache HTTP web server on your Red Hat 8 platform. Load balancers also allow for great scalability, making this technology a great option for those who may potentially scale up (or down) in the future.
Improving Performance With an Apache HTTP Web Server Load Balancer on Red Hat 8
To load balance a Red Hat 8 web server, you will need to find a load balancer that works with Apache HTTP web server because this is the web server platform that is utilized with RHEL 8.
The Apache load balancer — also known as the mod_proxy_balancer module — is one of the most popular load balancing options for the Apache web server. It is ideal for use with everything from entire domains to single URLs. Installation and configuration is relatively simple. Once Apache is installed on the load balancer server from the Linux distribution repositories, users must enable the proxy server modules. Then, you configure Apache load balancing settings.
One must-have component for this load balancing configuration is the Apache Balancer Manager. This lightweight software solution allows users to manage their load balancer’s configuration. It also allows admins to monitor performance. The Apache Load Balancer Manager can be configured once the Apache load balancing settings are addressed.
HAProxy is another load balancing option for Apache HTTP web server on a Red Hat 8 platform. A proxy server, HAProxy is a dedicated software solution. A TCP/HTTP reverse proxy, HAProxy delivers high availability, significant scalability, and a consistently high level of performance.
A few of the most desirable HAProxy load balancing features include the following.
- HAProxy can add, modify or delete incoming and outgoing HTTP headers to achieve better performance and greater efficiency.
- Backup servers are automatically deployed if the primary server experiences unanticipated downtime.
- HAProxy re-routes requests by using statically-assigned cookies.
- HTTP cookies are used during the load balancing process to achieve a high level of persistence.
Load Balancing Red Hat 8 Web Server With Apache HTTP
HAProxy and the Apache HTTP represent two of the most popular load balancers for Red Hat 8 web server deployments. But there are a number of third-party solutions that can also be suitable and even more efficient by way of performance. That is where the team at Resonate can help because we specialize in load balancing technology for a vast range of applications. Our goal is to provide clients with high-performance load balancers that are more than just cost-effective; we seek to provide solutions with the potential for significant ROI.
The load balancing landscape is complex and with so many options to consider, finding the best Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 Apache HTTP web server load balancer does require time and research. But you’ll find that it’s time well spent because the right load balancer can bring significant improvements in terms of performance. Resonate, delivers cost-effective and reliable load balancers to our clients, including for platforms such as Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 operating systems with Apache HTTP web server installs. Contact the team at Resonate today to get started with the process of finding the best load balancer for RHEL 8 Apache web server or another platform.