Overview of Azure Gateway Load Balancer

What is Gateway Load Balancer?

‘Gateway’ is a new Azure Load Balancer SKU, which is available on Internal, Regional Azure Load Balancer.

What is the purpose of Gateway Load Balancer?

Gateway Load Balancer has been introduced to efficiently support an Active-Active highly available (HA) architecture of Network Virtual Appliances (NVAs). It is capable of creating a service chaining, which transparently inserts NVAs in the network path for traffic inspection and monitoring.

What problem does it solve?

Traditionally, HA NVAs need a ‘sandwich’ type architecture to function, where the NVAs are deployed in the middle of two Load Balancers. This kind of solution often ends up in an asymmetric routing situation. Hence, Active-Passive architecture is preferred.

Gateway Load Balancer resolves this issue by ensuring symmetric routing. Hence, it helps deploy Active-Active NVA solution at scale without the need of a ‘sandwich’ architecture.

Gateway Load Balancer Service Chaining

Who can be chained to?

A Standard Public Load Balancer or a Virtual Machine with a Standard Public IP configuration can be chained to a Gateway Load Balancer.

What are the benefits?

Simplicity of network configuration is one of the biggest benefits of Gateway Load Balancer. This does not require UDR to route traffic and works across vNets, subscriptions, regions and tenants.

How does it work?

Gateway Load Balancer uses VxLAN protocol to send receive traffic by using tunnel interfaces. VxLAN is basically an encapsulation protocol. If you are interested find out more about it.

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