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Community Blog The Network Load Balancer (NLB) Performance of Cloud Network Management Platform Making Major Breakthroughs

The Network Load Balancer (NLB) Performance of Cloud Network Management Platform Making Major Breakthroughs

This article highlights a speech Shunmin Zhu (General Manager of Alibaba Cloud Intelligence Network Product Line) delivered during the 2022 Apsara Conference.

By Alibaba Cloud Network

Watch the replay of the Apsara Conference 2022 at this link!

At the Apsara Conference 2022, Shunmin Zhu (General Manager of Alibaba Cloud Intelligence Network Product Line) released a new generation of high-performance four-layer load balancer - Network Load Balancer (NLB) for the Internet of Everything (IoE). This is the first time in the industry that a major breakthrough in the single-instance concurrency capability exceeding 100 million has been achieved!

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"NLB's concurrency capability can reach 128 million for a single instance (not the scale of the whole cluster of our backend), but the concurrency scale of a single user can reach 128 million, which is an important product feature and core competitiveness of NLB. In addition, the scale of new connections can reach 5 million per second for a single instance, and the throughput of a single instance can reach 500Gbps," Shunmin Zhu said at the press conference.

More importantly, the Cloud Network Management platform can still provide elasticity in the face of such a large-scale scenario. This means NLB can calmly deal with this scenario when the user's business has a traffic peak surge similar to the Double 11 Global Shopping Festival. When an enterprise's business grows rapidly, the user scale grows, and the creation capability is improved, NLB can also meet this elastic demand. This means that after users purchase an instance, the resource capacity can grow elastically with the business growth without user intervention or configuration change. This adaptive elasticity is the capability of the cloud-native architecture, a typical embodiment of Serverless architecture. It is also the core feature that constitutes the cloud-native network. Combined with the pay-as-you-go billing method, it can significantly release the elasticity of cloud computing and benefit thousands of industries.

NLB of Cloud Network Management Platform

Helping EMQ Build a High-Performance Enterprise-Level MQTT IoT Access Platform

EMQ is a world-leading provider of open-source IoT infrastructure software. It needs a high-concurrent, high-performance, and highly elastic network to implement its connection, mobility, processing, and analysis capabilities for massive cloud-edge-terminal data in the IoT era. EMQ and Apsara's Cloud Network Management system have built a large-scale distributed MQTT broker for IoT: EMQX, based on NLB, achieving a peak concurrency of 100 million. This means users only need to purchase one instance, and EMQX can be extended to meet the concurrency management of hundreds of millions of devices and support smooth business expansion.

Recently, the test of core performance indicators has been completed. The test environment uses Alibaba Cloud resources, and the region is in the official online environment of Frankfurt, Germany. The following figure shows the test topology:

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  • The EMQX client cluster consists of 35 g5ne.8xlarge ECS instances, all of which are deployed in the eu-central-1b availability zone, with the MQTT stress testing program installed to simulate client services.
  • The EMQX server cluster consists of 36 g5ne.8xlarge ECS instances, all of which are deployed in the eu-central-1b availability zone, with the MQTT server service program installed, which is a real online service.
  • Create dual-zone internal-facing NLB instances. The NLB product instances are distributed in the eu-central-1a and eu-central-1b zones for zone-level disaster recovery and traffic load balance. Cross-zone forwarding is enabled for instances.
  • The EMQX control cluster consists of 3 hfc6.16xlarge ECS instances, all of which are deployed in the eu-central-1b availability zone. It is used for cluster configuration change control and traffic monitoring and does not carry forwarding services.

Stress Testing of 100 Million Concurrent Connections, Long Links without Interruption

The EMQX client builds connections at the 35,000 CPS rate to keep long MQTT links uninterrupted. After 50 minutes, check the instance monitoring statistics in the Alibaba Cloud NLB console. The number of concurrent connections reaches 100 million, as shown in the following figure:

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The monitoring statistics on the EMQX dashboard are also intercepted for cross-validatio,, as shown in the following figure. The Connections in the lower left corner show that the concurrent connections are maintained at 100 million.

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As for the stress testing of a single instance with 100Gbps bandwidth, the Alibaba Cloud NLB console monitoring is shown below, and the throughput of a single instance has reached 320+Gbps.

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During the project, through the active and efficient test cooperation between the two parties, the performance indicators, such as a single NLB instance with over 100 million concurrent connections and over 100Gbps bandwidth, were completed ahead of schedule. Based on the mission of Making the Network Simpler, the Cloud Network Management system of Apsara provided by Alibaba Cloud continues to innovate and make breakthroughs driven by customer needs and grows together with customers, achieving a win-win situation.

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