Product Documentation

Understanding Load Monitors

Mar 19, 2012

Load monitors use SNMP polled OIDs to calculate load. The load monitor uses the IP address of the service to which it is bound (the destination IP address) for polling. It sends an SNMP query to the service, specifying the OID for a metric. The metrics can be CPU, memory, or number of server connections. The server responds to the query with a metric value. The metric value in the response is compared with the threshold value. The NetScaler appliance considers the service for load balancing only if the metric is less than the threshold value. The service with the lowest load value is considered first.

The following diagram illustrates a load monitor configured for the services described in the basic load balancing setup discussed in Setting Up Basic Load Balancing.

Figure 1. Operation of Load Monitors
Note: The load monitor does not determine the state of the service. It only enables the appliance to consider the service for load balancing.

After you configure the load monitor, you must then configure the metrics that the monitor will use. For load assessment, the load monitor considers server parameters known as metrics, which are defined within the metric tables in the appliance configuration. Metric tables can be of two types:

  • Local. By default, this table exists in the appliance. It consists of four metrics: connections, packets, response time, and bandwidth. The appliance specifies these metrics for a service, and SNMP queries are not originated for these services. These metrics cannot be changed.
  • Custom. A user-defined table. Each metric is associated with an OID.

By default, the appliance generates the following tables:

  • NetScaler

You can either add the appliance-generated metric tables, or you can add tables of your own choosing, as shown in the following table. The values in the metric table are provided only as examples. In an actual scenario, consider the real values for the metrics.

Metric name













To calculate the load for one or more metrics, you assign a weight to each metric. The default weight is 1. The weight represents the priority given to each metric. If the weight is high, the priority is high. The appliance chooses a service based on the SOURCEIPDESTIP hash algorithm.

You can also set the threshold value for each metric. The threshold value enables the appliance to select a service for load balancing if the metric value for the service is less than the threshold value. The threshold value also determines the load on each service.