What does SysMaster offer?

The SysMaster is a high availability and intelligent load balancing product for single as well as for multiple Internet sites. SysMaster distributes user requests across server and network device arrays, regardless of platform, without requiring additional software (agents) installed on the servers. SysMaster ensure that your customers will always have a positive experience on your web site.

How can SysMaster help small online companies quickly increase their online presence?

SysMaster family of products lets you grow at your own pace. As demand for your products and services grow, you can easily upgrade your Internet infrastructure. Each SysMaster is upgradable, providing you with the most cost-effective solution for your unique situation.

Is SysMaster hardware-based or software-based?

SysMaster is a network appliance or "turnkey" solution, combining both software and hardware into a complete package. The SysMaster is separate unit located between the router and servers and/or network devices.

Is SysMaster hardware-based or software-based? How does SysMaster fit in networks with servers running Windows NT and Sun Solaris?

Because the SysMaster is a separate network appliance, it supports any OS, using a variety of Internet applications and services over TCP/IP.

What type of Internet applications and servers does SysMaster work with?

The SysMaster supports Internet applications such as Web (HTTP), e-mail, streaming audio and video, LDAP and other IP protocol traffic; database access; and FTP, firewall, cache and VPN server traffic.

What do you mean by High Availability? Intelligent Load Balancing?

High availability ensures that the servers, applications and network devices will always be available for the customer. Load balancing involves redirecting incoming site traffic to provide optimal performance for that site.

By what means do you provide High Availability?

SysMaster can ensure High Availability using the following methods:

By distributing customer requests across a group of servers, content and applications are always available. SysMaster can be configured as a dual box providing additional fault-tolerance with automatic fail-over in less than 1 second. In this configuration, SysMaster works in Active/Active Mode. When engaged, this allows both devices to simultaneously manage traffic for different virtual addresses. This option allows you to take advantage of the throughput of both devices, simultaneously. In the unlikely event of a failure on one of the devices, the remaining active device will assume the virtual servers of the failed machine.

How does SysMaster actually Loadbalances?

SysMaster provides Load Balancing using the following methods:

Static Modes

  • Round Robin - In Round Robin mode, the SysMaster distributes connections evenly across the nodes that it manages. Each time a new connection is requested, the SysMaster passes the connection to the next node in line.
  • Weighted Round Robin - The Weighted Round Robin algorithm treats the servers of different processing capacities. Each server can be assigned a weight, an integer value that indicates the processing capacity.

Dynamic Modes

  • Least Connections - SysMaster directs network connections to the server with the least number of established connections.
  • Weighted Least Connections - In this mode, the servers with a higher weight value will receive a larger percentage of live connections at any one time. The virtual server administrator can assign a weight to each real server, and network connections are scheduled to each server in which the percentage of the current number of live connections for each server is a ratio to its weight.
  • Optimized Weighted Round Robin: This mode is similar with the Weighted Round Robin algorithm with the addition that each server can be dynamically assigned a weight depending on its current availability and current load. This is achieved thanks to the mechanism by which SysMaster intelligently measures the load of every server in the server array which it manages.
  • Optimized Weighted Least Connections: This mode is similar again to the Weighted Round Robin algorithm but all weights are calculated dynamically to represent the current responsiveness of the servers in the managed server array. Both Optimized Weighted Round Robin and Optimized Weighted Least Connection models are developed to closely follow and balance the deviations of the load of each server as to achieve maximum efficiency and speed from the server array as a whole.

What is the importance of persistence and how does SysMaster implement it?

Persistence is necessary when a server has data associated with the user and the data is not dynamically shared with the other servers. For example, let’s say a customer builds a "shopping cart" of goods at a web site, and then leaves the site before completing the transaction. If, upon returning to the site, SysMaster directs the customer’s request to a different server, that new server may not know about the user and his or her shopping cart. Of course, if all the servers stored the user information and their selected goods in a single back-end database server, this would not be a problem. But if the site is not designed this way, the specific shopping cart data resides on just one server. In this case, SysMaster must select the same server that the user was directed to in the past, in order to seamlessly process the user’s request.

SysMaster offers two modes of persistence: Source-Server and Mega Proxy Sever Persistence - Big enterprises and ISPs use load balancing across multiple proxy servers to connect to the Internet. In such cases the same user may be coming to the site from a different proxy server for each TCP connection. Therefore source IP is not a reliable indicator of a given user. To address this problem SysMaster can be configured to treat a range of source IP addresses as a single source.

What user interfaces exists for SysMaster configuration, and is it secure?
  • SysMaster ships with a secure web based GUI interface. Using it you can configure easily all aspects of the work of SysMaster as well as monitor the workload of your networks. The web interface allows you to view past, current and future workload traffic expectations allowing you to fine-tune the network configuration settings as well as make the necessary changes in your server configurations.
  • SysMaster offers menu based VGA interface too. This option is very suitable for administrators using standard consoles for managing their servers and networks.

How does SysMaster enhance overall security?

SysMaster is designed to protect itself from attacks and provide protection for the servers being load balanced. Basic functionality includes:

  • Specially designed core software for advanced security
  • Packet Filtering (IPFW)
  • Security script identifies any services/ports being probed
  • Default deny device - tight control of traffic allowed to pass through
  • Administration through Access Control Lists
  • Protects itself and servers from ICMP attack (diverts ping attacks)
  • Can reap idle connections (diverts Denial of Service attacks)
  • Can perform source route tracing (diverts IP spoofing)
  • Unacknowledged SYN without ACK buffers (diverts SYN floods)
  • Diverts teardrop and land attacks
  • Can map well known ports to any ports on the servers (Port-mapping)
  • Real Servers IP addresses can be hidden from the public
  • Not running SMTPd, FTPd, or any other attackable daemons

Can SysMaster be used to load balance transparent devices like firewalls or caches?

Yes, SysMaster can simultaneously load balance transparent devices. SysMaster ensures availability of firewalls, proxies, and caches. End users are directed to a single virtual address, easing administration and maintenance of these devices too.

How does SysMaster provide the necessary security when load balancing in Network Address Translation (NAT) mode?

For enhanced security, SysMaster can work with Secure NAT (SNAT). SNAT provides clients with a secure outbound connection to servers external to the SysMaster or on an internal server array through a load balanced virtual server. SNAT connection requests can only come from IP addresses recognized by a SysMaster.

Can SysMaster give higher priority to the requests of certain clients thus guaranteeing they will receive the requested information as fast as possible?

SysMaster can be used to prioritize traffic based on any combination of source, destination or traffic type. Minimum, maximum and burstable bandwidth settings can be enforced. This can be used to do things such as guarantee that credit card transactions using SSL will always receive highest priority.

If a back-end server or service fails, how much time can elapse before the failed back-end server is purged from the list of available servers?

In the event of a back-end server or service failure or unavailability, the server or service is removed from the availability table instantaneously (from the point of the user specified time-out interval). The server or service is then continually checked for availability at a user specified interval, and is brought back into the availability table once the server or service is back on line. No manual user intervention is required.

What is the difference between SysMaster 5000 and SysMaster 7000?

SysMaster provides high availability and load balancing for Internet-based traffic at a local site. Both SysMaster 5000 and SysMaster 7000 are multifunctional self-contained units providing efficient load balancing, capability to implement secure firewalls as well as traffic monitors. The basic model SysMaster 5000 is designed for small businesses and online operations. SysMaster 7000 is targeted as a high end solution providing additional performance and flexibility. It includes additional mode for implementing transparent proxy allowing better online experience of your users.

What really differentiates SysMaster from your competition?

SysMaster is designed to provide the IT professional with the most reliable, powerful and simple means so your site is up and available 24/7. SysMaster provides the unique capability to functionally replace several network devices. SysMaster guarantees a unique performance level exceeding that of competitive products by 20% up to 50% thanks to the integrated Direct Path loadbalancing mode. The easy setup and management give SysMaster a an additional edge over the competition.

Our installation/configuration team provides an accelerated initial training session to help you immediately make use of the functionality built into each and every product. We make sure your network is running efficiently and that all registration forms are completed for support availability.

top of page
©2004 SysMaster Corporation. All rights reserved.