About NAT Load Balancing
Network Address Translation (NAT) and Load Balancing (LB) provide the ability to balance incoming traffic across multiple, similar network resources. Do not confuse this with the Failover & Load Balancing feature in SonicOS. While both features can be used in conjunction, Failover & Load Balancing is used to actively monitor WAN connections and act accordingly on failure/recovery of the WAN interface(s), and NAT LB is primarily used to balance incoming traffic.
Load Balancing distributes traffic among similar network resources so that no single server becomes overwhelmed, allowing for reliability and redundancy. If one server becomes unavailable, traffic is routed to available resources, providing maximum up-time.
This details how to configure the necessary NAT, load balancing, health checks, logging, and firewall rules to allow systems from the public Internet to access a virtual IP that maps to one or more internal systems, such as web servers, FTP servers, or SonicWall SMA appliances. This virtual can be independent of the firewall or it can be shared, assuming the firewall itself is not using the port(s) in question.
The load balancing capability in SonicOS, while fairly basic, satisfies the requirements for many network deployments. Network administrators with environments needing more granular load balancing, persistence and health-check mechanisms are advised to use a dedicated third-party load-balancing appliance.
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