Why Use Nginx for Load Balancing

Why Use Nginx for Load Balancing

Let’s start with the question “What is Nginx?”. Nginx is an open source software that has many practical functions and applications including load balancing.

In addition to Load Balancing, Nginx offers web serving, caching, media streaming, reverse proxying and much more.

When Nginx was first introduced, it was designed as a web server for maximum performance and stability. Now it has HTTP server capabilities, it can work as a proxy server for email (IMAP, POP3, and SMTP), and also as a reverse proxy and load balancer for:

  • HTTP
  • TCP
  • UDP

Since Nginx is good for so many things the question arises “What makes it stand out when it comes to load balancing?”

Nginx Load Balancer

One of the reasons why Nginx Load Balancer is so special is that it is much, much cheaper than hardware solutions.

The success of Nginx lies in its ability to provide a software application delivery platform that load balances HTTP and TCP applications. This, in turn, allows companies to increase the reliability and availability of their applications and sites.

The first and foremost benefit is that Nginx Load Balancer is a free and open source. And since the software is open source it is malleable to all the needs and tweaking requirements of an organization. Not to mention that Nginx is extremely scalable.

Using Nginx the risk of hardware and VM failure is mitigated.

If an organization is working with Elasticsearch Stack then load balancer also provides security for Kibana

Overall using Nginx adds a great boost to the overall performance of an organization.

Replacing Hardware Based Load Balancers With Nginx

Nginx is quickly replacing the need of sitting behind legacy hardware for load balancing.

In a regular setup, the web server and application delivery components are separate. Nginx changed this application delivery approach. It combined these two elements and as a result increased the performance and scalability of both.
Although Nginx can also be deployed on any hardware of choice and tuned for a specific.

Nginx And Modern Software-Based Platforms

In order to start working with modern software-based platforms, instead of ripping off old hardware and load balancers for replacing, it is much easier for organizations to deploy Nginx.

Nginx can be deployed in such a way that it handles all the load balancing duties. Clients can connect directly to Nginx which will act a reverse proxy: load balancing request to pools of backend servers.

Nginx is also used when legacy hardware is required to continue load balancing existing application. In this case the Nginx and legacy hardware work side by side. It should be noted that in this instance Nginx and load balancing hardware are not connected. It works like this:

  • Clients directly connect to Nginx
  • Which offloads SSL
  • Cache dynamic and static content
  • And then performs advanced ADC functions

In this manner, an organization can use Nginx to load balance modern software-based platform workload, its true strength lies in being uploaded to the cloud.

As more and more organizations are adopting DevOps approach, the question of “Why Nginx Load Balancer?”, is becoming exceedingly obsolete. Nginx Load Balancer is an excellent choice for remote development team since it offers a more flexible development environment and thus a more agile development process can be adopted.

And thus organizations can take their time to migrate legacy applications from hardware to Nginx.