How to Scale Load Balancers

DigitalOcean Load Balancers are a fully-managed, highly available network load balancing service. Load balancers distribute traffic to groups of Droplets, which decouples the overall health of a backend service from the health of a single server to ensure that your services stay online.

Scaling a load balancer lets you adjust its performance to its workload by changing the number of nodes the load balancer contains. You can scale load balancers up or down at anytime to meet your traffic needs. You can scale a load balancer to adjust its performance to its workload. Scaling changes the number of nodes the load balancer contains. You can scale load balancers up or down at anytime to meet your traffic needs.

Each additional node increases the load balancer’s maximum:

  • Requests per second by 10,000
  • Simultaneous connections by 10,000
  • New SSL connections per second by 250

You can add up to 100 nodes to a load balancer.

The scaling feature is not available in the following regions at this time: AMS2, NYC2, SFO1. In these regions, you can only create load balancers with one node, which equates to a small size load balancer under the legacy scaling system.

The load balancer’s cost per month is based on the number of nodes it contains.

When scaling a load balancer down, each node is given one minute to drain the remaining connections. Any connections that remain after one minute will be closed. This may cause a brief disruption in traffic to the load balancer. Make any appropriate changes to your network before scaling to avoid disruptions in your production traffic.

To scale a load balancer from the DigitalOcean Control Panel, click Networking, then click Load Balancers to go to the load balancer overview page. Click on the name of the load balancer you want to scale, then click the Settings tab.

Load balancer Settings menu with Scaling Configuration Resize button highlighted

In the Scaling Configuration section, click Resize. In the Number of nodes field, select the new amount of nodes you would like the load balancer to scale to. As you change the amount of nodes, the load balancer’s connection specifications and price update to give you an overview of the load balancer’s overall capabilities and monthly cost.

Load balancer Settings section with Scaling Configuration open

Once you’ve selected the new number of nodes, click Update Node Count. The load balancer drops all open connections and then scales.

Once the load balancer has scaled, the Scaling Configuration section of the Settings page reflects the load balancer’s new amount of nodes.