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> Chapter 26 - Server Load Balancing > Configuring load balancing

Configuring load balancing

This section describes how to use the FortiOS server load balancing to load balance traffic to multiple backend servers.

You can configure FortiOS load balancing to intercept incoming traffic with a virtual server and distribute it among one or more backend real servers. By doing so, FortiOS enables multiple real servers to respond as if they were a single device or virtual server. This in turn means that more simultaneous requests can be handled by the servers.

Traffic can be balanced across multiple backend real servers based on a selection of load balancing methods including static (failover), round robin, weighted to account for different sized servers, or based on the health and performance of the server including round trip time, number of connections. The load balancer can balance layer 7 HTTP, HTTPS, SSL, generic layer 4 TCP, UDP and generic layer 3 IP protocols. Session persistence is supported based on injected HTTP/HTTPS cookies or the SSL session ID.

You can bind up to 8 real servers can to one virtual server. The real server topology is transparent to end users, and the users interact with the system as if it were only a single server with the IP address and port number of the virtual server. The real servers may be interconnected by high-speed LAN or by geographically dispersed WAN. The FortiGate unit schedules requests to the real servers and makes parallel services of the virtual server to appear to involve a single IP address.

There are additional benefits to load balancing. First, because the load is distributed across multiple servers, the service being provided can be highly available. If one of the servers breaks down, the load can still be handled by the other servers. Secondly, this increases scalability. If the load increases substantially, more servers can be added behind the FortiGate unit to cope with the increased load.

Server load balancing configuration

Traffic can be balanced across multiple backend real servers based on a selection of load balancing methods including static (failover), round robin, weighted to account for different sized servers, or based on the health and performance of the server including round trip time, number of connections. The load balancer can balance layer 7 HTTP, HTTPS, SSL, generic layer 4 TCP, UDP and generic layer 3 IP protocols. Session persistence is supported based on injected HTTP/HTTPS cookies or the SSL session ID.

You can bind up to 8 real servers can to one virtual server. The real server topology is transparent to end users, and the users interact with the system as if it were only a single server with the IP address and port number of the virtual server. The real servers may be interconnected by high-speed LAN or by geographically dispersed WAN. The FortiGate unit schedules requests to the real servers and makes parallel services of the virtual server to appear to involve a single IP address.