Difficulty: Beginner
Estimated Time: 10 minutes

In this scenario you will learn the different load balancing capabilities of Envoy Proxy.

The scenario covers:

  • Learning about the different types of load balancing techniques

  • Configuring Round Robin load balancing techniques

  • Applying weighting to control load balancing

At the end of the scenario, you will have an understanding how to deliver reliable traffic to your services.

Congratulations. You have successfully:

  • Learned about the different types of load balancing techniques

  • Configured Round Robin load balancing techniques

  • Configured weighting to control load balancing

Complement this scenario with Detecting service health with health checks scenario
And continue learning more about the potential of Envoy.

Controlling load balancing policies

Step 1 of 3

Step 1 - Load balancing policies

When a filter needs to acquire a connection to a host in an upstream cluster, the cluster manager uses a load balancing policy to determine which host is selected. The load balancing policies are pluggable and are specified on a per upstream cluster basis in the configuration

Supported load balancers

This are some of the most common used load balancers:

Weighted round robin

This is a simple policy in which each available upstream host is selected in round robin order. If weights are assigned to endpoints in a locality, then a weighted round robin schedule is used, where higher weighted endpoints will appear more often in the rotation to achieve the effective weighting.

Weighted least request

The least request load balancer uses an O(1) algorithm which selects two random healthy hosts and picks the host which has fewer active requests

Ring hash

The ring/modulo hash load balancer implements consistent hashing to upstream hosts. The algorithm is based on mapping all hosts onto a circle such that the addition or removal of a host from the host set changes only affect 1/N requests.


The random load balancer selects a random healthy host. The random load balancer generally performs better than round robin if no health checking policy is configured.

Original destination

This is a special purpose load balancer that can only be used with an original destination cluster. Upstream host is selected based on the downstream connection metadata, i.e., connections are opened to the same address as the destination address of the incoming connection was before the connection was redirected to Envoy.

Se more about the policies in Envoy documentation.

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