Consul vs HAProxy: What are the differences?
Consul: A tool for service discovery, monitoring and configuration. Consul is a tool for service discovery and configuration. Consul is distributed, highly available, and extremely scalable; HAProxy: The Reliable, High Performance TCP/HTTP Load Balancer. HAProxy (High Availability Proxy) is a free, very fast and reliable solution offering high availability, load balancing, and proxying for TCP and HTTP-based applications.
Consul can be classified as a tool in the "Open Source Service Discovery" category, while HAProxy is grouped under "Load Balancer / Reverse Proxy".
"Great service discovery infrastructure" is the primary reason why developers consider Consul over the competitors, whereas "Load balancer" was stated as the key factor in picking HAProxy.
Consul is an open source tool with 16.4K GitHub stars and 2.85K GitHub forks. Here's a link to Consul's open source repository on GitHub.
Instagram, Dropbox, and Medium are some of the popular companies that use HAProxy, whereas Consul is used by Slack, DigitalOcean, and Rainist. HAProxy has a broader approval, being mentioned in 457 company stacks & 211 developers stacks; compared to Consul, which is listed in 134 company stacks and 55 developer stacks.
What is Consul?
What is HAProxy?
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We use HAProxy to load balance between our webservers. It balances TCP between the machines round robin and leaves everything else to Node.js, leaving the connections open with a reasonably long time to live to support WebSockets and re-use of a TCP connection for AJAX polling.
HAProxy manages internal and origin load balancing using KeepaliveD. Two small servers host the entire site, never moving about 15% load even during the largest load spikes.
All our services use Consul for discovery, configuration and cluster management (auto scaling, health monitoring, dynamic reconfiguration, leader elections)
We use HAProxy to balance traffic at various points in our stack, includgin nginx nodes on different physical machines, and api nodes on the backend.
I use HAproxy primarily for application routing and SSL termination. I also use its logs and statistics to visualize incoming traffic in Kibana.
We use HAProxy to load balance web requests for our web application, but also for some internal load balancing of microservices.