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How To Setup LVS (Linux Virtual Server) Load Balancer on CentOS 8 / RHEL 8

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Linux Virtual Server is a highly salable and highly available server built on a cluster of real servers with the load balance running on the Linux Operating System.
First of all we will install the Linux Virtual Server package on Our CentOS 8 / RHEL 8 machine. After Installing LVS on our Operating System we will configure it as a load balancer to the back end servers. This setup assumes you have installed a CentOS / RHEL 8 server or workstation edition.

Step 1: Installing Linux Virtual Server on CentOS 8 / RHEL 8

Run the following command on your server to Install Linux Virtual Server and Choose yes to proceed further.

[[email protected] ~]$ sudo yum install ipvsadm
[sudo] password for sabi:
Last metadata expiration check: 3:38:25 ago on Sun 22 Dec 2019 12:37:06 AM EST.
Dependencies resolved.
Package Arch Version Repository Size
ipvsadm x86_64 1.29-8.el8 AppStream 57 k
Transaction Summary
Install 1 Package
Total download size: 57 k
Installed size: 83 k
Is this ok [y/N]: y

Step 2: Enabling IP forwarding and enable service

When you have finished installing package, enable the service and IP forwarding in your machine.

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echo 'net.ipv4.ip_forward = 1' | sudo tee -a /etc/sysctl.conf 
sudo sysctl -p

Confirm it is turned to 1

[[email protected] ~]$ echo 'net.ipv4.ip forward = 1' | sudo tee -a /etc/sysctl.conf
[sudo] password for sabi:
net.ipv4.ip forward = 1

Start and enable ipvsadm services by running

sudo touch /etc/sysconfig/ipvsadm
sudo systemctl enable –now ipvsadm

Check out the service status, it will be look like as:

[[email protected] ~]$ systemctl status ipvsadm
‚óŹ ipvsadm.service - Initialise the Linux Virtual Server
Loaded: loaded (/usr/lib/systemd/system/ipvsadm.service; enabled; vendor preset: di>
Active: active (exited) since Sun 2019-12-22 04:25:30 EST; 20s ago
Process: 5880 ExecStart=/bin/bash -c exec /sbin/ipvsadm-restore < /etc/sysconfig/ipv>
Main PID: 5880 (code=exited, status=0/SUCCESS)
Dec 22 04:25:29 localhost.localdomain systemd[1]: Starting Initialise the Linux Virtua>
Dec 22 04:25:30 localhost.localdomain systemd[1]: Started Initialise the Linux Virtual>
lines 1-8/8 (END)

Step 3: Configure LVS as Load Balancer

After setting up all, move forward to configure LVS as a load balancer to actual back-end applications.

Clean the IP tables rules by running

sudo ipvsadm -C

Step 4: Adding a Virtual Service

Add a virtual service by using the syntax

ipvsadm -A -t (ServiceIP:Port) -s (Distribution method)

Following Distribution methods supported:

  • rr (Round Robin) = Equal load distribution among back-end servers
  • wrr (Weighted Round Robin) = The Round Robin based on real Servers weight
  • lc (Least Connection) = Servers having few active processes are selected for new load assignment on priority basis.
  • wlc ( Weighted Least Connection) = Assigns tasks to servers with fewer jobs and relative to the real server’s weight (Ci/Wi) . By default, this method is used.

We will do configuration based on below diagram.

In this case, I’m setting LVS server to listen on with port 80.

sudo ipvsadm -A -t -s wlc

Now, add the back-end servers by typing

sudo ipvsadm -a -t (ServiceIP:Port) -r (BackendServerIP:Port) -m

The configuration will look like

sudo ipvsadm -a -t -r -m 
sudo ipvsadm -a -t -r -m

Type the following command to list current rules:

[[email protected] ~]$ sudo ipvsadm -l 
IP Virtual Server version 1.2.1 (size=4096)
Prot LocalAddress:Port Scheduler Flags
-> RemoteAddress:Port Forward Weight ActiveConn InActConn
TCP cent01:http wlc
-> cent03:http Masq 1 0 0
-> cent02:http Masq 1 0 0

Allow Firewall

sudo firewall-cmd --add-service=http --permanent
sudo firewall-cmd --reload

Now, when you load the LVS server IP / domain name from the browser, you will see the page on one of the back-end server.

Hi this is the LVS server page on back-end server 1

Upon reloading, the back-end server 2 page should show

Hi this is the LVS server page on back-end server 2

This is how you can set up your LVS server on CentOS 8 / RHEL 8.


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