Virtual Server via NAT
The advantage of the virtual server via NAT is that real servers can run any operating system that supports TCP/IP protocol, real servers can use private Internet addresses, and only an IP address is needed for the load balancer.
The disadvantage is that the scalability of the virtual server via NAT is limited. The load balancer may be a bottleneck of the whole system when the number of server nodes (general PC servers) increase to around 20 or more, because both the request packets and response packets are need to be rewritten by the load balancer. Supposing the average length of TCP packets is 536 Bytes, the average delay of rewriting a packet is around 60us (on Pentium processor, this can be reduced a little by using of higher processor), the maximum throughput of the load balancer is 8.93 MBytes/s. Assuming the average throughput of real servers is 400Kbytes/s, the load balancer can schedule 22 real servers. Continue reading “Understanding NAT, Direct Routing & Tunneling” »