load balancing question

Richard Sharpe rsharpe at ns.aus.com
Sun Oct 6 17:34:01 GMT 2002

On Sun, 6 Oct 2002, Javid Abdul-AJAVID1 wrote:

>  Good load balancing utility would be lsf , which is dynamic but not free i
> suppose, others would BIND static round robin
> any more suggestions :-)))

Hmmm, one way to do load-balancing under Samba is to use DFS.

I have some patches somewhere for the MSDFS code under Samba that gets it 
to rotate the referrals that are sent back.
I guess I could try to dig them up. Maybe I will put them up at my web 

> -----Original Message-----
> From: John E. Malmberg
> To: samba-technical at lists.samba.org
> Sent: 10/5/02 10:03 PM
> Subject: Re: load balancing question
> Stephan Stapel wrote:
>  > Dear people on the list!
>  >
>  > I hope it's ok to ask a feature question on this core-feature list.
>  > What I would like to know is whether there are some efforts on
>  > implementing load balancing features into samba or some experiences/
>  > experiments in this area. As standard-Windows doesn't offer these
>  > features, adding them would give samba-based systems yet another
>  > (very big) advantage over a standard nt server system. Just that you
>  > know why I'm asking for this. We have the problem to serve 3d scenes
>  > as well as image data to about 100 render nodes running under Windows
>  > NT. When starting to render, all machines are asking at exactly the
>  > same time for exactly the same data, which might be about 500
>  > megabytes per machine. Action like this results into a server load of
>  > about 30-50 which isn't really satisfactory...
> Load balancing can be implemented with out making any changes to Samba, 
> and has been.
> Load balancing on TCP/IP generally requires having a "metric" server on 
> each host that feeds information to a DNS that understands how to round 
> robin connection requests.
> The next issue that you run into is simultaneous access to the disks.
> Since this is read only data, you could replicate it before the 
> rendering, but I am guessing that there is some reason that you are not 
> replicating the data.
> If your platform allows simultaneous access to disks, then the load 
> broker should be sufficient.
> If not, then you need to do more research.  If you do not have multiple 
> hosts sharing simulaneous access to the disks, then there probably is 
> not much to gain by load sharing them from multiple servers, as only one
> host will really be doing all of the work.
> But again, there is nothing in Samba that prevents using existing load 
> sharing techniques, if the underlying platform supports it.
> Now a server load of 30-50 to a machine is not excessive to some classes
> of machines, and if they are really all hitting the same data, then file
> system caching will help.  Many of the systems my employer sells can 
> handle that type of load easily, they also support simultaneous disk 
> access from multiple hosts.
> What actually would help more is a custom protocol that used multicast 
> packets which would reduce the total amount of network traffic.
> -John
> wb8tyw at qsl.network
> Personal Opinion Only

Richard Sharpe, rsharpe at ns.aus.com, rsharpe at samba.org, 
sharpe at ethereal.com, http://www.richardsharpe.com

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