How to load balance
With load balancing, you can distribute network port traffic more evenly across tool ports. Choose the type of load balancing that works best with your analysis tools: balance by network conversations or balance by packet volume.
 
Figure 5: Example of load balancing
Load balancing example Web-quality PNGLoad balancing example Web-quality PNG
 
How to load balance by conversation
Network port traffic can be load balanced by network conversation. Choose this type of load balancing if your connected tools work best with complete network conversations, like end-to-end HTTP sessions.
Prerequisite(s):  
These steps require that at least one rule exists in your rules library. You can create a new rule if necessary.
 
To load balance by network conversation:
1. Starting in the dashboard, click Rules.
The rules and filters designer appears, where rules and filters can be created and edited.
2. Ensure the Rules tab is selected.
3. Click a rule from the list.
The rule opens and is ready to edit.
4. Select Load Balance.
If selected, load balancing changes how traffic is moved from network ports to tool ports.
5. In the Load Balance Type list, select Conversation.
Packets with identical characteristics, such as an identical IP pair, are forwarded exclusively to one tool port. By keeping these packets together, an intact conversation is likely being forwarded. Other unique conversations might be forwarded to the same or different tool port, creating a balanced distribution of conversations to all tool ports connected to the rule. Load balancing of this type is useful when connected tools need to perform analysis on complete network conversations.
6. Select any Conversation Fields for determining network conversations.
Conversations are traffic streams that must be kept together and forwarded intact to a tool port. How the system determines a conversation must be specified. For example, selecting only 'Include IP pair' indicates all connections between a unique IP pair must be kept intact and forwarded to the same tool port.
7. Click Save.
 
You successfully enabled load balancing in a rule. Connecting this rule between network and tool ports causes the traffic to be balanced across the tool ports.
 
How to load balance by packet volume
Prerequisite(s):  
These steps require that at least one rule exists in your rules library. You can create a new rule if necessary.
 
To load balance by packet volume:
1. Starting in the dashboard, click Rules.
The rules and filters designer appears, where rules and filters can be created and edited.
2. Ensure the Rules tab is selected.
3. Click a rule from the list.
The rule opens and is ready to edit.
4. Select Load Balance.
The type of load balancing can be adjusted to meet network tool requirements and link utilization goals. If 10Gb and 1Gb tool ports are both connected to a load balancing rule, a 10-to-1 ratio is used.
 
Packet Packets are equally distributed to tool ports using a round-robin method. By dividing the packet volume equally, link utilization is decreased between tool ports and connected tools by a factor of how many tool ports are connected to the rule. Network conversations are severed by using this type, so ensure that any connected tools can operate effectively without intact conversations.
Conversation Packets with identical characteristics, such as an identical IP pair, are forwarded exclusively to one tool port. By keeping these packets together, an intact conversation is likely being forwarded. Other unique conversations might be forwarded to the same or different tool port, creating a balanced distribution of conversations to all tool ports connected to the rule. Load balancing of this type is useful when connected tools need to perform analysis on complete network conversations.
 
5. In the Load Balance Type list, select Packet.
Packets are equally distributed to tool ports using a round-robin method. By dividing the packet volume equally, link utilization is decreased between tool ports and connected tools by a factor of how many tool ports are connected to the rule. Network conversations are severed by using this type, so ensure that any connected tools can operate effectively without intact conversations.
6. Click Save.
 
You successfully enabled load balancing in a rule. Connecting this rule between network and tool ports causes the traffic to be balanced across the tool ports.