From the book lists at Adware Report:

All information current as of 14:05:01 Pacific Time, Monday, 21 February 2005.

Load Balancing Servers, Firewalls, * Caches

   by Chandra Kopparapu

    25 January, 2002


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Editorial description(s):

Book Info
Provides a detailed, up to date, technical discussion of this fast-growing, multibillion dollar market, covering the full spectrum of topics-from server and firewall load balancing to transparent cache switching to global server load balancing.

Book Description
From an industry insider--a close look at high-performance, end-to-end switching solutions
Load balancers are fast becoming an indispensable solution for handling the huge traffic demands of the Web. Their ability to solve a multitude of network and server bottlenecks in the Internet age ranges from dramatic improvements in server farm scalability to removing the firewall as a network bottleneck. This book provides a detailed, up-to-date, technical discussion of this fast-growing, multibillion dollar market, covering the full spectrum of topics--from server and firewall load balancing to transparent cache switching to global server load balancing. In the process, the author delivers insight into the way new technologies are deployed in network infrastructure and how they work. Written by an industry expert who hails from a leading Web switch vendor, this book will help network and server administrators improve the scalability, availability, manageability, and security of their servers, firewalls, caches, and Web sites.

Reader review(s):

well written and thorough, November 9, 2003
This book is a very well written and nicely organised introduction to server load balancing. The author describes the basics of load balancing, including NAT, session persistence, and network architectures. A discussion on application-layer parsing was quite good. There is also a chapter on global server load balancing (including incorporating load-balancing into the authoritative DNS server) which I found to be very detailed and interesting.

Much of the book is centered on how to load balance TCP (and to a lesser extent UDP), and the author uses HTTP and FTP as his primary driving examples. Throughout the book, the author provides some insight regarding what approaches real companies use (e.g. "this method is what Foundry and Cisco uses."), which I liked very much. Also, the illustrations were plentiful (although a bit primitive-looking).

There are only a few negatives about this book. The english writing is a bit stilted at times, and the chapters on firewalls and caches were basically rehashes of earlier chapters. Finally, I was hoping the author would have provided more detail on the load-distribution heuristics (which server to choose) with more metrics and actual real-world results.

I found the book to be extremely well organised. You will not get lost while reading this book, but you will need a university-level understanding of TCP/IP (and probably the link layer as well to get the NAT material) and networks in general to fully appreciate the matieral. Overall, a great book.

A must if you need to buy some solution, or just to learn, March 1, 2002
Comprehensive and clear at the same time. Tells you what you need
to understand the issues, but no more (like "back to basics" ...)
An absolute must if you need to choose some solution for load balancing
in the jungle of vendors' marketing hype.
This book will allow you to understand what you need and what you should avoid depending on your problem.
Congratulations, Chandra, great job

To know details on load balancers, this is the one!!, April 9, 2003
Compared with Tony Bourke's book, this one depicts more on technical details such as how packets flow, how health check is done and etc.. On the other hand, Bourke's book mentions more about the basic concept and the introduction to current available products.

If you are interested in how load balancers are designed, this is the right book for you. However, if you are just shopping around and only want to know what load balancers are, get Brouke's one.

Btw, I was a bit disappointed at chapter 9. I expected to see more opinions on the future development of load balancers but it was not mentioned too much.

Wonderful, April 3, 2002
I am fairly new to load balancing, and this book provided an almost perfect introduction to the topic.

From a technical writing point-of-view, this is probably one of the best written books I have ever come across. The chapters are well organzied and are fairly easy to follow. Complex topics are clearly explained. The use of diagrams is very good as well.

If you want to learn more about load balancing, buy this book.

Excellent Introduction and In-Depth Guide, January 8, 2004
With his background in server products and networking products, this author is uniquely qualified with the product experience to present these topics.

From the simple beginnings of DNS server load balancing Kopparapu explains the driving forces behind and solutions presented to load balancing. The majority of the book is an introduction to the concepts and solutions available for server load balancing suitable for everyone from business casual to advanced technical users.

In addition to detailed explanations, the author demonstrates load balancing techniques through a number of illustrations. The illustrations are detailed enough to explain the concepts, but occasionally lack enough practical detail to go out and bulid in a lab or on a network without further understanding.

In combination with a good manual from a load balancing product, any reader would have enough information to implement sophisticated load balancing configurations.

In addition to server load balancing, the text covers caching techniques available through the use of some layer 4-7 devices. Of all the topics this one is the least detailed in the text. The author understandably covers only that part of cache technology related to layer 4-7 devices. A great deal of the technology required to put together an entire cache system resides in other parts of the system outside of the scope of this book. The implications for the architecture of a network are far reaching and worthy of at one more dedicated book on the topic.

Finally, the author presents the topic of firewall load balancing. Like caching, this is a complex topic. A complete understanding of network security and firewalls would require at least a few other books.

For those that already understand caches or firewalls though, this book provides detailed information on how to scale those systems with layer 4-7 technology.

This is certainly the most comprehensive and easy to read text on the topic. Anyone who reads this will also look forward to future texts from the author on emergning challenges in layer 4-7 network security and streaming content and distribution.

Good Survery of existing technologies with illustrations, September 24, 2002
Author did a good job of explaining basic concepts of NAT, Firewalls, Load Balancer, Proxy Servers, Web servers.

Another aspect of this book is that, clear explanation of network equipment deployment issues, how it is being used.

Finally, the advanced topic sections relating to each network element describes the concepts very clearly and by not getting into details of protocol message strucutures.

Relief for Server Strain, January 30, 2002
Excellent guide for finding ways to balance the loads caused by the huge amount of web traffic straining all our servers!

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