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loxilb started as a project to ease deployments of cloud-native/kubernetes workloads for the edge. When we deploy services in public clouds like AWS/GCP, the services becomes easily accessible or exported to the outside world. The public cloud providers, usually by default, associate load-balancer instances for incoming requests to these services to ensure everything is quite smooth.

However, for on-prem and edge deployments, there is no service type - external load balancer provider by default. For a long time, MetalLB originating from Google was the only choice for the needy. But edge services are a different ball game altogether due to the fact that there are so many exotic protocols in play like GTP, SCTP, SRv6 etc and integrating everything into a seamlessly working solution has been quite difficult.

loxilb dev team was approached by many people who wanted to solve this problem. As a first step to solve the problem, it became apparent that networking stack provided by Linux kernel, although very solid, really lacked the development process agility to quickly provide support for a wide variety of permutations and combinations of protocols and stateful load-balancing on them. Our search led us to the awesome tech developed by the Linux community - eBPF. The flexibility to introduce new functionality into Kernel as a sandbox program was a complete fit to our design philosophy. Although we did consider DPDK for a while, but the fact that it needs dedicated cores/CPUs really defeats the whole purpose of making energy-efficient edge architectures.

During the journey of loxilb's development, we developed many other advanced connectivity/security/visibility features in it using eBPF which can be used for various other purposes not specific to load-balancer only. But we decided to stick our original name loxilb as load-balancing will continue to be its main purpose in the forseeable future. loxilb team hopes the open-source community finds it helpful.


loxilb aims to provide the following :

  • Service type external load-balancer for kubernetes
  • L4/NAT stateful loadbalancer
  • NAT44, NAT66, NAT64 with One-ARM, FullNAT, DSR etc
  • High-availability support
  • Full compliance for K8s loadbalancer Spec
  • High perf drop-in replacement for iptables/ipvs
  • Optimized SRv6 implementation in eBPF
  • L7 Proxy support
  • Make GTP tunnels first class citizens of the Linux world
    • Support for QFI and other extension headers
  • eBPF based data-path forwarding (Dual BSD/GPLv2 license)
    • Complete kernel networking bypass with home-grown stack for advanced features like Conntrack, QoS etc
    • Highly scalable with low-latency & high througput
  • goLang based control plane components (Apache license)
  • Seamless integration with goBGP based routing stack
  • Easy to use APIs/Interfaces for developers
  • Cloud-Native Network Function (CNF) form-factor by default

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