What is HAProxy?


This is a thing that a few months ago, I didn’t know existed. It is used in some of the biggest and busiest sites, like Twitter, Github, Stack Overflow and Tumblr.

The last few weeks trying to learn to use it has been a hard uphill climb for me (blackjack style).

I would not call myself an HAProxy expert, but I at least know what it is, and that is an improvement. In case you may want to know what it is, so that you don’t stay clueless as long as I did, this post is for you.

HAProxy (pronouced H-A-Proxy) is a free and open source load balancer.

This basically means that HAProxy sits in front of your servers and moves the data request around so that no one server is overloaded. The main point is to keep your site up and running beautifully without users wondering what is happening behind the curtain. So that if a server goes down, or some major catastrophe happens, HAProxy will know to just move on to the next on.


If you are interested in setting this up for yourself, you will need to start with a Linux OS. Then, if would follow these steps for installation, they worked for me.

If you are still trying to wrap your head around what a load balancer even is, Digital Ocean has a 4 part series on HAProxy that will help you get acquainted with the general terminology and how this all works.

For those of you who are a little more advanced, there is a cool helper for HAProxy called HAProxyctl. This basically makes it easier to control HAProxy and is open source as well. Check out the github repo.



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