Accelerate Web Application Delivery with Barracuda Load Balancers

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 While most load balancers improve scalability by distributing traffic among multiple servers, they also happen to be in an ideal place in the network to accelerate the traffic, too.  With the latest Barracuda Load Balancer firmware release, we’ve added HTTP caching and HTTP compression to:
  • Reduce load on your backend Web servers
  • Improve response times to end users

All without adding extra equipment to your data center.

Almost all applications, including many legacy applications, are accessible through Web browsers and new applications are designed specifically with the Web in mind. Even email servers such as Exchange have Web application components that support Web access, such as Outlook Web Access. Consequently Web application acceleration has become an increasingly important part of any load balancing solution.

So, why is HTTP caching and HTTP compression important?

HTTP caching allows you to offload application delivery components to the Barracuda Load Balancer. If you look at any Web site, you will notice that there are a lot of static files that are shared across a number of pages.  An example of this would be the CSS Style Sheet file used by all of the pages to standardize the look and feel of the Web site. With the new HTTP caching features, you can increase Web server performance by offloading the delivery of these frequently accessed files to the Barracuda Load Balancer. The Barracuda Load Balancer supports cache control headers sent by both the clients and the servers.

HTTP compression allows you to improve the end user experience by limiting the amount of data sent from the Web server to the user. This is especially useful if you have a slow Internet connection. Any smart phone user can attest to the difficultly of browsing heavy pages on a slow connection. Most browsers such as Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari support compression. The Barracuda Load Balancer will automatically communicate with the end-user’s browser to enable compression, if the browser supports it, without any additional configuration or software.

HTTP caching and HTTP compression are available at no additional charge to customers with the Barracuda Load Balancer 440 model and higher in firmware release 3.4. To install the latest firmware version click on “Firmware update” under the “Advanced Tab” in the user interface of the Barracuda Load Balancer.  For more information please visit the Barracuda Load Balancer product overview page or contact your regional sales representative.

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