After my article about using pfSense as a load balancer for vCloud Director, I had a discussion with my colleague Sven Huisman (virtualfuture.info) about using pfSense as a (free) load balancer in a VMware View environment. Sven has written a great article on using the free Citrix Netscaler VPX Express in a VMware View environment. The question is: Is pfSense also suitable?
In a vCD environment a user connects to a vCD cell, in a View environment a user connects to a Security Server (access from the internet) or View Management Server (access from the LAN). The big difference between vCloud Director cells and VMware View access Servers is that the first are stateless and the latter are stateful. In a vCloud Director environment one client session can be balanced using several, different vCD cells because each cell is stateless. The story in a View environment is different: once a session is initiated, the client should stick to the same server as long as the session lasts.
My vCD load balancing setup is suitable for a stateless configuration, so it will not work in a View environment. After a little research I have found the following interesting option in pfSense:
With the ‘use sticky connections’ option, sessions will stick to a Security Server instance as long as the session lasts. pfSense will balance the load using the Round Robin method (so there’s not actual load on the available cells measured). You can find this option in System->Advanced->Miscellaneous->Load Balancing.
Well Sven, I would say…you have a new situation to test 😉