The Linux Virtual Server Project is an open source project started by Wensong Zhang to cluster many real servers together into a highly available, high performance virtual server.
The LVS handles connections from clients and passes them on the the real servers (so called Layer 4 switching) and can virtualise almost any TCP or UDP service, like HTTP, HTTPS, NNTP, FTP, DNS, ssh, POP3, IMAP4, SMTP et cetera and is fully transparent to the client accessing the virtual service.
Commercial products to achieve the same exist, but the Linux Virtual Server Project unifies all their functionality with all the quality, flexibility and pricing advantages that open source development brings.
Combined with other tools from the Linux High Availability Project like heartbeat, multiple LVS and real servers can be combined in a fail over setup to eliminate all single points of failure.
Combined with intelligent DNS servers, even geographical load balancing can be tackled, providing disaster-safe service.
It is possible to build highly scalable, highly available clusters for a multitude of applications, most notably E-Commerce platforms.
The TurboCluster announcement by TurboLinux has raised a lot of public attention, one going as far as predicting the split of the Linux kernel development over these patches.
Their claim to being the world's first software Linux clustering solution rests squarely on their initial use of the Linux Virtual Server Project.
Compared to other products, the Linux Virtual Server provides many unique features:
A sampling of projects and companies which currently use the Linux Virtual Server Project include:
The LVS Project provides a stable foundation for your projects, and we look forward to hearing from you.
We look especially forward to hearing from you if you are good at web design and feel like overhauling the LVS web site or want to provide documentation and admin tools.
In the future, we'll have better admin tools, better interoperation of the different tools, integration into the Netfilter framework and tighter integration with the Linux HA effort.
Please feel free to join the mailing list and contact us!
Joseph Mack Lars Marowsky-Brée Alan Robertson Wensong Zhang