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AWS affords a number of load-balancing options tailor-made to completely different use instances throughout the Elastic Load Balancing (ELB) service. The 2 main varieties are the Software Load Balancer (ALB) and the Community Load Balancer (NLB). Beneath is an in depth comparability of ALB and NLB, highlighting their options, use instances, and variations.

Software Load Balancer (ALB)
Key Options:

1. Layer 7 Load Balancing:

  • Operates on the utility layer (OSI layer 7), making it able to routing HTTP/HTTPS visitors.
  • Helps superior routing options resembling host-based, path-based, and question string-based routing.

2. Content material-Primarily based Routing:

  • Can route requests to completely different goal teams based mostly on the content material of the request, permitting for extra granular management over visitors distribution.

3. SSL Termination:

  • Helps SSL/TLS termination, offloading the decryption/encryption work out of your backend cases.

4. WebSockets and HTTP/2:

  • Helps WebSocket and HTTP/2, making it appropriate for contemporary net functions requiring persistent connections and higher efficiency.

5. WAF Integration:

  • Can combine with AWS Net Software Firewall (WAF) to guard your net functions from frequent net exploits.

.6 Sticky Periods:

  • Helps session stickiness (often known as session affinity) based mostly on cookies, permitting a shopper to be sure to a selected goal.

Use Circumstances:

  • Splendid for net functions needing superior routing capabilities and content-based routing.
  • Appropriate for microservices architectures, the place completely different providers would possibly require completely different routing guidelines.
  • WebSocket functions and functions requiring HTTP/2 help.
  • Purposes needing SSL termination and integration with WAF for enhanced safety.

Community Load Balancer (NLB)

Key Options:

1. Layer 4 Load Balancing:

  • Operates on the transport layer (OSI layer 4), dealing with TCP, UDP, and TLS visitors.
  • Designed for excessive efficiency, able to dealing with tens of millions of requests per second with ultra-low latency.

2. Static IP Addresses:

  • Supplies a static IP deal with for the load balancer, which may be helpful for whitelisting and constant endpoint references.

3. Protect Supply IP:

  • Preserves the shopper supply IP deal with, which is crucial for functions needing to know the unique IP deal with of the shopper.

4. TLS Termination:

  • Can offload the TLS termination course of out of your backend cases, much like ALB however on the transport layer.

5. Zonal Isolation:

  • Supplies excessive availability throughout a number of Availability Zones and may route visitors to wholesome targets inside a selected zone, making certain robustness.

Use Circumstances:

  • Greatest fitted to high-performance, latency-sensitive functions requiring excessive scalability.
  • Purposes needing to deal with non-HTTP/S visitors, resembling TCP and UDP.
  • Use instances the place preserving the supply IP deal with is vital for the applying logic.
  • Splendid for microservices requiring easy, quick, and dependable load balancing on the community layer.


Selecting between ALB and NLB is determined by your particular utility necessities:

  • Use ALB for those who want superior routing capabilities, help for contemporary net protocols (HTTP/2, WebSockets), SSL termination, and integration with WAF for net functions.
  • Use NLB for those who want excessive efficiency, low latency, help for TCP/UDP visitors, static IP addresses, and the power to protect the shopper supply IP deal with.

By understanding the strengths and use instances of every load balancer, you may make an knowledgeable choice that most closely fits your utility’s structure and efficiency necessities.

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