Product Documentation

Configuring the Token Method

Jul 15, 2014

A load balancing virtual server configured to use the token method bases its selection of a service on the value of a data segment extracted from the client request. The data segment is called the token. You configure the location and size of the token. For subsequent requests with the same token, the virtual server chooses the same service that handled the initial request.

This method is content aware; it operates differently for TCP, HTTP, and HTTPS connections. For HTTP or HTTPS services, the token is found in the HTTP headers, the URL, or the BODY. To locate the token, you specify or create a classic or advanced expression. For more information on classic or advanced expressions, see Policy Configuration and Reference.

For HTTP services, the virtual server searches for the configured token in the first 24 kilobytes (KB) of the TCP payload. For non-HTTP (TCP, SSL, and SSL_TCP) services, the virtual server searches for the configured token in the first 16 packets if the total size of the 16 packets is less than 24 KB. But if the total size of the 16 packets is greater than 24 KB, the NetScaler searches for the token in the first 24 KB of payload. You can use this load balancing method across virtual servers of different types to make sure that requests presenting the same token are directed to appropriate services, regardless of the protocol used.

For example, consider a load balancing setup consisting of servers that contain Web content. You want to configure the NetScaler appliance to search for a specific string (the token) inside the URL query portion of the request. Server-1 has two services, Service-HTTP-1 and Service-TCP-1, and Server-2 has two services, Service-HTTP-2 and Service-TCP-2. The TCP services are bound to Vserver-LB-2, and the HTTP services are bound to Vserver-LB-1.

If Vserver-LB-1 receives a request with the token AA, it selects the service Service-HTTP-1 (bound to server-1) to process the request. If Vserver-LB-2 receives a different request with the same token (AA), it directs this request to the service Service-TCP-1. The following diagram illustrates this process.

Figure 1. How the Token Method Works

To configure the Token load balancing method by using the command line interface

At the command prompt, type the following commands to configure the token load balancing method and verify the configuration:

  • set lb vserver <name> -lbMethod TOKEN -rule <rule> -datalength <length> -dataoffset <offset>
  • show lb vserver <name>


set lb vserver LB-VServer-1 -lbMethod TOKEN -rule 'AA' -datalength 2 -dataoffset 25 
show lb vserver LB-VServer-1

To configure the token load balancing method by using the configuration utility

  1. Navigate to Traffic Management > Load Balancing > Virtual Servers, and open a virtual server.
  2. In Advanced Settings, click Method
  3. In the Load Balancing Method list, select Token, and specify an expression.