Load balancing

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Since nftables v0.7, there is support in place to perform NAT load balancing.

Don't forget the special NAT chain semantics: Only the first packet evaluates the rule, follow up packets rely on conntrack to apply the NAT information.

round robin

This method uses the nftables internal number generator.

The example below is distributing new connections in a round-robin fashion between 192.168.10.100 and 192.168.20.200.

% nft add rule nat prerouting dnat to numgen inc mod 2 map { \
               0 : 192.168.10.100, \
               1 : 192.168.20.200 }

You can also emulate flow distribution with different backend weights using intervals:

% nft add rule nat prerouting dnat to numgen inc mod 10 map { \
               0-5 : 192.168.10.100, \
               6-9 : 192.168.20.200 }

consistent distribution

Using the nftables internal hashing mechanisms.

% nft add rule x y dnat to jhash ip saddr . tcp dport mod 2 map { \
                0 : 192.168.20.100, \
                1 : 192.168.30.100 }