button-print-blu20 ZLB as a VMware Appliance

I have recently been looking for a Load Balancer which I can install within my VMware cluster to provide fail over for my two internal SMTP servers and for the company CRM – also hosted on two IIS boxes. Other than physical kit, the market place appears quite sparse – I found an old VMware appliance called Hercules, but it appears to no longer be supported. It ran a Linux application called PEN which managed the Load Balancing.

Fortunately, I came across a very slick Debian appliance called Zen Load Balancer this is available as an ISO which I easily imported into VMware and created my very own Virtual Load Balancer.  This product also provides clustering of two Load Balancers, by using a 3rd virtual address.

Installation under VMware is straight forward by simply downloading the ISO and presenting it to the base VM Linux guest at boot up. A few simple questions regarding the language, time zone and IP addresses and you are up and working.  Once you have one Zen server built in VMware, to create a nice cluster pair, simply power it off and clone it.  Before you power both servers back on you must remember to either re run the setup OR use the CLI/GUI to change the settings (see below for more details).

My preference would be to change the details for the newly cloned server by using the CLI to change the name (see below) & the GUI to change the IP.  Once this is done, you can then power up the original guest and your cluster is nearly there. See side panel links for VI editor help.

Steps to access the CLI

  • Login as ‘root’ and the password you supplied

cd /etc

vi hostname

  • Backspace to delete the current name, press ‘i’ to insert, not type your new hostname eg. LB-Host1
  • Now press ‘esc key’ then :wq


Follow this link to enable VMware Tools


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