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Using Squid as a Load Balancer

This article helps you to understand how you can use Squid as a load balancer. It explains the configuration changes required for load balancing on SXDE (Solaris Express Developer Edition).

What is Squid?
Squid is a proxy-server that caches internet data. Squid supports the HTTP, HTTPS, and FTP protocols. Using Squid, you can improve the server response time by caching and reusing frequently-requested web pages. It improves performance without the need for greater bandwidth. Squid is generally used as a server accelerator. You can configure Squid to act as a caching HTTP accelerator. It improves the server performance, network performance, and security as Squid overcomes disadvantages related with performance. For example, when the original web server and the original network might be slow and prone to attacks, you can use Squid to serve traffic requests. Squid is suited for any operating system including Digital UNIX, IRIX, Solaris, AIX, HP-UX, Linux, FreeBSD, NetBSD and even OS/2. You can also use it on Windows platform.

What Is Load Balancing?


Load balancing shares the network traffic between two or more servers so that a single server does not get loaded with requests. Load balancing increases performance and reliability. You can use multiple processors or multiple threads in a single processor for load balancing. Load balancing does not require dedicated software and hardware nodes. DNS servers can run the round-robin algorithm against multiple IP Addresses associated with a single domain name. Squid is generally used to act as a caching proxy server. It sends client HTTP requests to the proxy server. The proxy server fetches web pages in accordance with the cache setup, and returns them to the client. Squid can be used to perform basic round-robin load balancing, and to cache results based on your cache configuration.

Configuring Squid as a Load Balancer


Squid is integrated with the SXDE (Solaris Express Developer Edition) release. You do not need to install Squid separately. Perform the following steps to configure Squid as load balancer.
Note DNS servers are name resolution servers that translate host names to IP addresses. Most web servers use DNS servers as their default name resolution servers. If the server uses NIS instead of DNS, it can lead to conflict with Squid, as Squid also uses the DNS by default. Squid can be configured for NIS. The following sample error message appears, when Squid configured for DNS and runs server that uses NIS. 2008/06/11 11:53:08| /etc/resolv.conf: (2) No such file or directory 2008/06/11 11:53:08| Warning: Could not find any nameservers. Trying to use localhost

To Configure Squid
Configure Squid for a site www.foo.com on a web server. Change to the directory /etc/squid. Open the squid.conf file in a text editor Make the following changes to specify the port for the web site, and to specify the IP address for the web server. By default squid listens to HTTP port 80. Also, specify access controls to allow access to your web site. http_port 80 accel defaultsite=www.foo.com cache_peer ip.of.server1 parent 80 0 no-query

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Using Squid as a Load Balancer

acl sites_server_1 dstdomain www.foo.com http_access allow sites_server_1


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Create a cache directory by typing the following command. % /usr/local/squid/sbin/squid -z Start Squid by typing the following command. % /usr/local/squid/sbin/squid -NCd1
Note See the logs at /var/squid/logs (especially in the cache.log file) to verify if there are any errors in

configuring Squid.

To Configure Squid as a Load Balancer


Restart Squid before you configure it as a load balancer. This example uses two web servers . Each web server has two web sites. www.foo.com and www.foo.net are on Server 1, and www.test.foo.com and www.test.foo.net are on Server 2. This procedure explains how to configure Squid as a load balancer for each site.

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Change to the directory /etc/squid. Open the squid.conf file in a text editor and make changes as follows. cache_peer ip.of.server1 parent 80 0 no-query originserver name=server_1 acl sites_server_1 dstdomain www.foo.com www.foo.net cache_peer_access server_1 allow sites_server_1 cache_peer ip.of.server2 parent 80 0 no-query originserver name=server_2 acl sites_server_2 dstdomain www.test.foo.com www.test.foo.net cache_peer_access server_2 allow sites_server_2 cache_peer ip.of.server1 parent 80 0 no-query originserver round-robin cache_peer ip.of.server2 parent 80 0 no-query originserver round-robin
Note Round-robin algorithm does simple load balancing. The round-robin algorithm places all the jobs in a

circular queue with a processing time slot for each job. The processor saves the status of a job after its time slot and resumes processing on its saved state in its next round of processing. This achieves virtual parallel-processing and load-balancing.

Using Squid as a Load Balancer

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