US 7395349 Method and system for scaling network traffic managers

ABSTRACT – A method and system is directed to routing a flow of packets over a network to multiple traffic management devices. An apparatus receives each packet from a network and forwards the packet to one of a group of traffic management devices. The apparatus also may receive packets from servers for which the traffic management devices are managing communications. When forwarding packets, a traffic management device is selected from the group of traffic management devices by employing a hash of an IP address and port number. The IP address and port number are selected from source or destination information in the packet that has a greater port number. When the traffic management device performs a network address translation, further actions may be performed so that packets that are part of a flow between two network devices are delivered to the same traffic management device.


The present invention relates to computer network traffic, and in particular to distributing network traffic associated with traffic management devices.


The Internet’s core bandwidth continues to double every year. Some of this additional bandwidth is consumed as more and more users access the Internet. Other additional bandwidth is consumed as existing users increase their use of the Internet. This increase of Internet use translates into an increase in traffic directed to and from World Wide Web (WWW) servers and other Internet servers.

Replacing a WWW server with a WWW server of twice the capacity is a costly undertaking. Adding additional WWW servers is less costly but generally requires a load-balancing mechanism to balance workload so that each virtual server performs work proportional to its capacity and the number of servers available to the traffic management device that is performing the load balancing.

This requirement for more sophisticated traffic management requires more processing. With a sufficient rate of requests, eventually a traffic management device may not be able to process traffic in a timely manner. Therefore, it is with respect to these considerations and others that the present invention has been made.


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