Week 37 2017 - Stride; NLB; ALB with IPs

The HipChat replacement Stride is announced, and we play acronym bingo with AWS’ load balancer updates.


HipChat has been lagging behind compared to Slack. I’m sure there are some people who will disagree with me on this, but I’ve never enjoyed using HipChat and I’m using it daily. It has many small annoyances, such as often needing to go into a room before you see that there were updates or even just not getting notifications about direct messages. Because of that, I’m honestly happy to see that Atlassian decided to replace HipChat with a completely new application called Stride.

While there seems to be a lot of marketing material in the above link, with new words to describe features from other apps1, I have to say I like the ability to have actions and decisions as part of the conversation. The ability to easily switch to video chat (even in rooms) also seems quite nice. Of course, as always there might be a big difference between the blog post and reality so I’ll see when I get access to it.

AWS Network Load Balancer

When AWS introduced their new Application Load Balancer, it didn’t have all the functionalities of the (renamed) Classic Load Balancer. In particular, it was focused on only http and https connections, completely leaving out other types of connections. This has now been rectified by the introduction of the Network Load Balancer.

This new load balancer is focused on handling very high numbers of traffic with a low latency, but another feature I like that it has is static IPs. There are times where you might need to have a third-party connect to your application by IP address, and up until now it was impossible to do so while using a load balancer. The NLB2 provides an IP per Availability Zone, which should be enough for most of those use cases. There are of course other features, and it can’t do everything the other load balancers can, but instead of listing everything I’ll point you to the above article or this feature comparison of the different ELBs.

AWS Application Load Balancing via IP

While I’m speaking of ELBs, this seems like a good time to point out another feature here that AWS recently introduced. The ability to have your ALB3 point at IP addresses instead of instances.

This may not sound like a major change, but it allows a couple of things. First, if you use dedicated ENIs4 that you attach to your instances you won’t need to update the load balancer when you switch it over. Considering that you would probably have automated this that doesn’t make it much of an advantage. What does make a big difference however is that it’s not limited to your VPC. The ALB can use any IP reachable from the VPC. This means another VPC through VPC Peering, or even machines in your own data center that are reachable through VPN or Direct Connect.

  1. Focus Mode instead of Do Not Disturb or Away seems less clear to me. [return]
  2. Which is the new short name of this type of ELB. [return]
  3. Application Load Balancer. [return]
  4. There can be various reasons to use Elastic Network Interfaces, often related to licenses that check network interfaces or because you have attached EIPs to the ENI. [return]
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