I'm investigating Oracle Webcache as a loadbalancer for my application running on Application Server v10.1.2.2.0 I've read several articles and documents on this subject but I have a few questions that I hope someone can answer simply (to begin with).
Q1. Can a webcache cluster be used to loadbalance connections across multiple application servers without using a hardware loadbalancer ?
Q2. If not, why is the hardware loadbalancer needed ?
Thanks in advance.
Q1. Yes a webcache cluster can be used as a load balancer. However, you still need some way to pick which webcache to send the request to initially.
There's many ways to solve this. Based on your needs you could even let one of the webcaches process all the requests as it will forward the requests to one of the other webcache servers if the load is too heavy. This is not a good solution but one that will work without using a load balancer. Im sure there's other ways to solve this as well by using firewall and/or router features that will simply just randomly pick one of your webcache nodes based on some criteria that is unknown to me.. Just thinking out loud. :-)
Personally I've only worked with webcache clusters front ended by a F5 BigIP Load Balancer.
Hope this helps and I hope someone else can give you (and me) an answer to the firewall/router possibility im thinking about