Users deploying on the cloud, whether private or public, often require load balancing. Amazon has solved this for EC2 users with Elastic Load Balancing. haproxy is available on Ubuntu and provides most if not all of the capability of Elastic Load Balancing services. Missing components that may be beneficial to be write include workalikes to the amazon ec2 API tools elb-create-lb, elb-register-instances-with-lb, elb-configure-healthcheck.

Release Note

Ubuntu 10.10 offers a cloud load balancing stack. A simple stack is provided to enable an out of the box load balancer to be setup and configured, with automatic registration of backend servers, and high availability features.


Load balancers should not be difficult to configure for basic workloads. HAproxy provides an extremely stable and scalable load balancing solution. Given the low amount of overhead involved, it may make sense to run this stack on an existing node rather than pay the extra cost of running Amazon's Elastic Load Balancer service. For non-cloud deployments, a simple tool is useful as it will provide the benefit of easy maintenance and a uniform deployment procedure.

User stories





haproxy is generally held up as the best of breed for user-space software load balancers. While IPVS may be very powerful, it has the limitation of working at layer 4, and so requires encapsulation to traverse disparate subnets involved with modern cloud setups.

The haproxy package itself should not require any modification, but should be promoted to main


A config backend will either be provided as a puppet module using exported configs (under investigation), or some web scripts must be created to implement a simple REST interface to enable client scripts to add/remove/list/disable/enable healthchecks, nodes, and listeners in a secure and simple fashion.


haproxy's normal config file is user editable and may already be configured for other usage on a machine. This package will define an upstart service that starts haproxy with a generated config file from the config information contained in cloud-loadbalancer's config backend (hopefully puppet). This leaves the door open for other load balancers.

Manual override

haproxy has a lot more power than this that some may want to take advantage of after initial setup. A suitable, simple templating engine (m4?) will be used to generate the files, and the templates can be edited as users see fit.


A set of scripts that use the cloud-loadbalancer config backend above in a similar fashion to the elb-* tools from amazon's EC2 ELB API Tools. These will attempt to match all of the features of the amazon elb-* scripts. The 'LoadBalancerName' given in these scripts will be the hostname of the load balalancer.





See blueprint white board server-maverick-uds-cloud-loadbalancing

Test/Demo Plan

Unresolved issues

High Availability will still have to be manually configured, though the cluster features already available in Ubuntu will at least make this relatively easy.

UDS session agenda and discussion

Notes from session:

Look into a load balancing/proxying http solution based on:

Performance is important.

Use cases





CloudLoadbalancingSpec (last edited 2010-05-21 17:01:04 by clint-fewbar)