More specifically, virtual load balancers are just legacy load balancers trying to find a home in your data center or the cloud.
This week I came across my still functioning iPod Classic “click wheel”. This was my exercise companion for many years and I still marvel at the engineering innovation (holds thousands of songs!) and simple elegance of the intuitive user interface (click wheel!). In today’s consumer society we expect our electronics to be intuitive. When announced in 2003 the “click-wheel” was years ahead at a time most electronics still came with detailed instruction manuals. Launching a consumer product with a click wheel was a radical approach, pushing the end-user experience to the very limits of engineering.
This message is as much for people who buy load balancers as it is for those who sell them.
Nothing demonstrates the need for elasticity and scale like the Holiday Season. Manufacturing, distribution, and eCommerce companies experience a huge spike in their business, but nobody feels the pressure more than the big guy up North. You know—the jolly fellow, red suit, white beard—ring a (jingle) bell? It’s Santa Claus!
We haven’t expected much from our load balancers in the past. And why should we? Traditional load balancers had a relatively simple job (e.g. distribute traffic, SSL, some content switching), and functioned relatively well. End of story.
Cisco announced the end-of-support of their ACE load balancers as of Fall 2015. Cisco has executed on the end-of-life, end-of-service, and end-of-support plans for their Cisco ACE appliances. Enterprises that currently use Cisco ACE for their load balancing needs have been strongly encouraged to search for an alternative before time runs out and find a solution that will prepare them for the modern enterprise requirements.
In today’s business environment, enterprises need their load balancers to be elastic and provide network and app teams with the ability to get their job done faster. Applications have to be responsive to users, even when there is a sudden traffic spike. Users are used to an "always-on" experience and apps need to respond to these expectations. Web-scale companies such as Google and Facebook have relied on the combination of industry-standard data center hardware with powerful software that enables them to be agile, flexible, and elastic.