Announcing Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Flexible Load Balancing

December 8, 2020 | 4 minute read
Gopi Gopalakrishnan
Sr. Principal Product Manager
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In today's world, where digital experiences are the currency of competitiveness, enterprises must deliver delightful user experiences and the best application performance. At Oracle, we understand your cloud infrastructure plays a crucial part in this. Your applications need to scale fast and flexibly to meet increased customer demand and to throttle down whenever possible to control costs. As the gateway between users and your application, your load balancers are a mission-critical piece of that application infrastructure - and Oracle's load balancers now provide that flexibility. 

Over the past six months, as part of our flexible infrastructure strategy, we've made both storage and compute more flexible, making it easier for you to right-size your resources to your workloads. We want to help you match your consumption to your needs, which naturally helps you control costs.  You can configure VMs with any custom number of cores and custom amount of memory.  Your block volume performance can be reconfigured while they remain online.  Today, we’re excited to announce the next step in the evolution of Oracle's flexible infrastructure with our innovative flexible load balancer. It provides the utmost in flexibility, with responsive scaling up - and down. So you pay only for what you use - and use only what you need, and we'll deliver additional capabilities to help match resources consumption to demand automatically, in the future.

With Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Flexible Load Balancing, you are no longer restricted to fixed bandwidth load balancer shapes or scaling based only on general traffic patterns. You can choose a custom minimum bandwidth and an optional maximum bandwidth, both anywhere between 10 Mbps and 8,000 Mbps. The minimum bandwidth is always available and provides instant readiness for your workloads. The optional maximum bandwidth setting can limit bandwidth, even during unexpected peaks, if you need to control costs. Based on incoming traffic patterns, available bandwidth will scale up from the minimum as traffic increases.

Instant Readiness and Utmost Flexibility 

Let’s pretend you’re the admin of our legendary MuShop, a sample application we've created to model an e-commerce site for cat products built as a set of micro services and hosted on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. With business booming, MuShop decided to host periodic flash sales and targeted sales in addition to its annual sales event. You, as Mushop's system administrator, were tasked with ensuring that the infrastructure is ready to handle all of these activities. With Oracle's flexible infrastructure, including the flexible load balancer, in your arsenal you have the "easy button" to accomplish this in a quick and cost-efficient manner. You can have a flexible load balancer ready to handle any surge in visitor traffic within a few minutes by following these simple steps:

  1. In the Console, under the Core Infrastructure group, go to Networking and click Load Balancers. Choose a Compartment you have permission to work in under Scope, and then click Create Load Balancer. 

  2. In the Add Details page, specify the attributes of the load balancer including the Name and the Public/Private visibility type.

  3. Under Bandwidth, specify the minimum and maximum bandwidth values to create an upper and lower size range for the load balancer bandwidth. On a normal day MuShop averages around 1,000 visitors per second, and the average bandwidth utilization of 50 Mbps. Let's configure the minimum bandwidth as 100 Mbps to support 2x of the normal workload instantaneously and configure the maximum bandwidth at 8,000 Mbps to support traffic spikes during the flash sales.  

  4. Add the Backend servers that host your MuShop application. You can choose from the wide range of virtual-machine and bare-metal options including the new Flexible virtual machines that provides you the flexibility to choose a specific number of cores and the amount of memory when creating or resizing your VM.

  5. As the final step, configure the listener for you load balancer by specifying the type of traffic (HTTPS, HTTP, TCP) to be handled and the port number.

Your Mushop load balancer is now ready and provides instant readiness for your workloads with the minimum bandwidth. As well as scales up rapidly and automatically beyond the minimum bandwidth to support peak user traffic. 

Flexible Low Cost and Enhanced Free-Tier Experience 

Oracle Flexible Infrastructure enables you to maximize your resource utilization and increase resilience in the most cost efficient manner. With the flexible load balancer, you pay a simple flat rate (USD 0.0113 per hour) for active load balancer instances and a bandwidth usage charge (USD 0.0001 per Mbps per Hour). Bandwidth usage will be billed per minute at your minimum bandwidth configuration irrespective of usage or your actual 1-minute bandwidth usage, whichever is higher. Our always-free tier customer accounts get one flexible load balancer with a minimum and maximum bandwidth of 10 Mbps. Paid customer accounts (excluding Government customers) are not charged for their first load balancer instance and the first 10 Mbps of bandwidth usage. 

Next Steps 

For more information on Oracle Cloud Flexible Infrastructure compute and block storage services, check out how to optimize your workload using flexible VMs and the latest on our next-generation block-storage. We want you to experience these new features and all the enterprise-grade capabilities that Oracle Cloud Infrastructure offers. It’s easy to try them out with a US$300 free credit. As always, your feedback drives our feature roadmap and product development. Contact us through your Oracle sales team or email if you have any feedback or feature requests.

Sign up for an Oracle Cloud Infrastructure trial account!

Gopi Gopalakrishnan

Sr. Principal Product Manager

Gopi Gopalakrishnan is a Sr. Principal Product Manager in the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure team. Gopi leads product management for OCI Load Balancing and Web Application Firewall products.

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