Nginx Load Balancer Visualization on a Raspberry Pi Cluster

After some more tinkering with the Raspberry Pi Dramble (a cluster of 6 Raspberry Pis used to demonstrate Drupal 8 deployments using Ansible), I finally was able to get the RGB LEDs to react to Nginx accesses—meaning every time a request is received by Nginx, the LED toggles to red momentarily.

This visualization allows me to see exactly how Nginx is distributing requests among the servers in different load balancer configurations. The default (not only for Nginx, but also for Varnish, HAProxy, and other balancers) is to use round-robin distribution, meaning each request is sent to the next server. This is demonstrated first, in the video below, followed by a demonstration of Nginx's ip_hash method, which pins one person's IP address to one backend server, based on a hash of the person's IP address:

It's fun to be able to visualize things like Drupal deployments, Nginx requests, etc., on this cluster of Raspberry Pis, and in addition to a presentation on Ansible + Drupal 8 at MidCamp, and Ansible 101, I'll be showing the Dramble in a soon-to-be-released episode of Jam's Drupal Camp from Acquia—stay tuned!


Jeff, great project! I at first didn't understand why but you summed it up the "Why" pretty well on the github project page. Thank you for sharing your findings.