How DNS load balancing works

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Clients mount an SVM by specifying an IP address (associated with a LIF) or a host name (associated with multiple IP addresses). By default, LIFs are selected by the site-wide DNS server in a round-robin manner, which balances the workload across all LIFs.

Round-robin load balancing can result in overloading some LIFs, so you have the option of using a DNS load balancing zone that handles the host-name resolution in an SVM. Using a DNS load balancing zone, ensures better balance of the new client connections across available resources, leading to improved performance of the cluster.

A DNS load balancing zone is a DNS server inside the cluster that dynamically evaluates the load on all LIFs and returns an appropriately loaded LIF. In a load balancing zone, DNS assigns a weight (metric), based on the load, to each LIF.

Every LIF is assigned a weight based on its port load and CPU utilization of its home node. LIFs that are on less-loaded ports have a higher probability of being returned in a DNS query. Weights can also be manually assigned.