Load Balancing of the Secure Servers
Application servers in a cluster based Web server handle dynamic and sensitive
Web content that requires protection from eavesdropping, tampering and forgery. Al 
though the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) [72] is the most popular protocol to provide a
secure channel between a client and an application server, adopting SSL results in de 
grading the server performance considerably due to its high overhead. This overhead
becomes even more severe when it is deployed in application servers, since both the
dynamic content of a Web server and the cryptographic algorithms of SSL require high
CPU computation time.
Considering the fact that most dynamic content requires protection from unautho 
rized clients, performance improvement of SSL enabled application servers is a pressing
research topic. Thus, we investigate the impact of SSL offering in cluster based ap 
plication servers, and propose a backend forwarding mechanism by exploiting the low
overhead of user level communication. For comparison, we examine three application
server models: RR (Round Robin), SSL with session and SSL with bf. The RR model,
which is widely used in Web clusters, distributes requests from clients to servers us 
ing the Round Robin scheme. SSL with session uses a more sophisticated distribution
algorithm, in which subsequent requests of the same client are forwarded to the same
application server, thus avoiding expensive SSL setup costs. The proposed SSL with bf
uses the same distribution policy as SSL with session, but also exploits an intelligent
load balancing scheme that forwards client requests from a heavily loaded backend node
to a lightly loaded node to improve the utilization across all nodes.



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