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HTTP Load Balancing : Soft Rollout

(Soft Rollout requires HTTP Load Balancing, which is only available in OctaGate Switch Enterprise Edition)

Soft Rollout / Graceful Web Application Upgrade

When you run a web application, deploying a new version typically means that you need to stop the old web application to deploy the new one.  All connected users will lose their sessions, causing frustration.

Perhaps even worse, for the duration of the deployment cycle (shut down, install, start up) the web service will be completely offline).

OctaGate Switch can help you avoid this! You can upgrade your web application several times in one day, and users won't notice, because their sessions will continue to work!

Phasing Out an Old Server - Phasing In a New Server

When OctaGate Switch runs Load Balancing on a domain, it keeps track of users and what server they have been connected to before. We call this a session. The session is persistent over time, so that a user will keep connecting to the same server for the duration of the session.

When you want to phase out one server, you simply set that servers "capacity" value to zero, which means that it will not be handed any new connections, but old connections will remain valid!

To update a web application, you start the new web application on a different port or a different server. Then you add a new Load Balanced Server to the Load Balancing Cluster that handles the Web Application. Then you set the Capacity of the old server to zero and the capacity of the new server to a non-zero value. Voila, the new server will receive all new connections.

There is a tutorial that describe in detail how to create a server cluster.

Works on Cluster With Multiple Servers

If your web application is handled, through Load Balancing, by several servers, you can easily perform this operation on each of the servers. Thus you can perform a graceful update from one application version to another for a very large web site!

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