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Technical and Product News and Insights from Rackspace

Load Balancing for E-Commerce (pt 1)


Before getting into the nuts and bolts of the load balancing architecture itself, it’s important to understand the (typical) multiple tiers of an E-Commerce application framework:

  1. Firewall (edge)
  2. Physical local traffic manager (LTM)
  3. Web Server
  4. Application Server
  5. Database Server (cluster)

Keep in mind that, top to bottom, the environment will be asymmetrical from a load perspective. For example, a single web server will typically be capable of 2-3x the number of concurrent connections as a single application server; heavily dependent on cache density - higher density will shift more load up into the web tier. Caching will be a subject for a later discussion, but at a glance should account for 80+ percent of content served. With room for variance, the majority of successful architectures achieve this metric and those that struggle tend to miss. This is not to say, of course, that a lower density will necessarily have difficulties. In addition to relocating load away from application servers, a higher cache density opens an opportunity for external services, such as Akamai CDN, to absorb load ahead of ever reaching the environment.

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A Case for MongoDB with AEM

What is MongoDB?

MongoDB is, among other things, a document-oriented NoSQL database. This means that it deviates from the traditional, relational model to present a flexible, horizontally scaling model for data management and organization.

How does MongoDB work with AEM?

MongoDB integrates with Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) by means of the crx3mongo runmode and JVM options: -Doak.mongo.uri and -Doak.mongo.db

Why would I MongoDB?

Primarily MongoDB provides an alternate HA configuration to the older CRX cluster configuration. In reality, the architecture is more similar to a shared catalog on NFS or to NetApp than true clustering. The authors and publishers using MongoDB are not necessarily aware of each other.

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