Load Balancing WordPress on NGNIX

NGINX is a high performance webserver designed to handle thousands of simultaneous requests and has become one of the most deployed web server platforms on the Internet and is especially suited to delivering workloads such as WordPress.

A load balancer can maintain the availability and performance of WordPress on NGNIX by ensuring that requests are evenly spread across NGNIX servers, that NGNIX host failures are handled gracefully without end user impact and that user traffic is optimized to reduce load on the NGNIX WordPress servers.

Why load balance WordPress on NGNIX?

  • SSL Offload ‐ Remove the security processing and administration overhead from the WordPress NGNIX servers to the load balancer
  • Web Acceleration ‐ Caching and compression of WordPress content on the load balancer along with optimizations such as HTTP/2 provide a better user experience
  • Security ‐ A Reverse Proxy can protect WordPress by offering features such as single sign-on (SSO) and IPS/IDS
  • Web Application Firewall ‐ The load balancer’s web application firewall (WAF) protects WordPress from well known and emerging threats
  • Intelligent Load Balancing ‐ User traffic is load balanced between WordPress servers based on multiple criteria such as server availability, load, request type and even geographic location

Load Balancing WordPress on NGNIX

When load balancing WordPress, the load balancer can optionally implement SSL offload, WAF, caching, compression and health checking to minimize load on WordPress servers and maximize uptime and performance.

Fig 1. Load Balancing topology for WordPress on NGNIX

Configuring Load Balancing for WordPress

The LoadMaster documentation set provides guidelines on how to deploy and configure a LoadMaster appliance to load balance application workloads on NGINX and how to configure advanced features such as single sign-on and reverse proxy for NGINX. You can download a trial version of LoadMaster or if use the Free Version of LoadMaster for WordPress workloads of less than 20Mbits/sec.

Load Balancing Features for NGINX

  • SSL Offload – LoadMaster can offload the SSL processing workload from the NGINX servers and also provide a single point of administration for SSL certificates and security.
  • DDOS Protection – LoadMaster includes a snort compatible engine to offer DDOS protection for NGNIX servers
  • Authentication – The Edge Security Pack in LoadMaster provides comprehensive authentication and single sign-on services for NGNIX
  • Reverse Proxy ‐ LoadMaster can act as a reverse proxy for NGNIX environments
  • Caching and Compression – LoadMaster uses caching and compression as a way to improve NGNIX performance
  • SSL Redirect – Redirection of all non-HTTPS requests to HTTPS
  • Intelligent Session Persistence – Multiple options available to ensure clients are load balanced to the same server for the session lifetime
  • Web Application Firewall (WAF) – The LoadMaster WAF for NGNIX provides application level protection from common and day-zero vulnerabilities
  • Global Load Balancing (GSLB) – Load balance NGNIX across multiple physical locations including cloud to provide disaster recovery failover and geo-aware traffic distribution.