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NGINX Plus – As Layer 7 Load Balancer

Sandeep Khuperkar I CTO and Director, Ashnik
India, 17 Jan 2015

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NGINX Plus supports a range of load balancing methods to distribute traffic across groups of upstream servers.

Load balancing can be done at various layers in the OSI Network Model. Here we give some overview on NGINX Layer 7 Load Balancer.

Process-based servers and applications typically have a hard limit on the number of concurrent connections they can manage. Any additional requests that comes in are placed in operating system’s queue, also the existing connections may remain as idle connections for long time. To avoid this, NGINX Plus allows you to define maximum concurrent connection limits per upstream group

If the maximum concurrent limit is mentioned to each server, then NGINX Plus will queue additional requests and forward them to the next available server. This helps to ensure consistent & predictable performance fair distribution of incoming requests, even when the traffic is high.

Benefits of NGINX Plus as Layer 7 Load Balancer

Layer 7 is typically HTTP layer which deals with specific contents of each message. Layer 7 load balancer enables the load balancer to make intelligent load- balancing decisions based on the content of the message. It improves performance by offloading slow connections from upstream server to buffer.

NGINX Plus has the comprehensive Layer 7 load balancing capabilities needed to build a highly optimized application delivery network.

An Example of NGINX Plus as Layer 7 Load Balancer

If a user “Sandeepk” visits a website which has very high traffic and he requests static content such as image or video, dynamic content such as news feed and some transactional information. So, now NGINX Plus as layer 7 load balancer allows to route the request based on what is requested.  Request for image and video can be routed to servers which stores it and which are highly optimized to serve up multimedia content. Similarly request for news feed could be routed to servers which are responsible for news feed and likewise for transactional information requested.

With NGINX Plus as layer 7 load balancer in front of your existing servers or server farm, it will increase the efficiency, reliability, and performance of your web applications.

– Sandeep Khuperkar I CTO and Director, Ashnik


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