Firewall Load Balancing Using the Application Control Engine

The application control engine (ACE) is the new load balancer from Cisco. The ACE can offer a max-throughput of 16 Gbps and 350,000 connections per second. It is another load balancer that you can use for greater throughput to load balance a firewall. ACE also supports virtualization similar to the FWSM. Instead of using the outside load balancer or the inside load balancer, you can use ACE as a single load balancer for outside and inside load balancers through virtualization. This is achieved using virtual contexts on the ACE. For a single ACE used in an outside security domain and inside security domain as a load balancer with virtualization, the combined packet flow of the outside load balancer and the inside load balancer should be less than 16 Gbps. If two separate ACE blades are used, there can be a maximum of 16 Gbps traffic load balanced (for 8 Gbps or 16 Gbps traffic, equivalent throughput needs to be achieved via multiple FWSMs).

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