HP Labs Technical Reports
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Achieving Load Balancing and Efficient Memory Usage in a Web Hosting Service Cluster
Cherkasova, Ludmila; Ponnekanti, Shankar
Keyword(s): web hosting service; web server cluster; web traffic characteristics; load balancing; scalability; performance analysis
Abstract: FLEX is a new scalable "locality aware" solution for achieving both load balancing and efficient memory usage on a cluster of machines hosting several web sites [C99]. FLEX allocates the sites to different machines in the cluster based on their traffic characteristics. Here, we propose a set of new methods and algorithms (Simple, Simple+, Advanced, and Advanced+) to improve the allocation of the web sites to different machines. We also design algorithm "Closest" which creates a new partition for the given sites' requirements which is "closest" to a specified "previous" sites' partition. "Improved" FLEX outperforms traditional load balancing solutions 50% to 100% (in throughput) even for a four node cluster. Miss ratio is improved 2-3 times. These figures increase with the size of the cluster. Ease of deployment and low cost are the other attractions of FLEX.
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