When we announced high availability (HA) ports for Azure Load Balancer, we enabled you to leverage network virtual appliances with more flexibility in Azure. HA ports is a unique capability that makes network virtual appliances (NVA) flexible as you deploy them in Azure—a first in the industry, it changed how you deploy NVAs at scale.
At Microsoft Ignite, weannouncedthe preview ofGateway Load Balancer, a fully managed service enabling you to deploy, scale, and enhance the availability of third-party NVAs in Azure, that builds on that capability. You can add your favorite third-party appliance whether it is a firewall, inline DDoS appliance, deep packet inspection system, or even your own custom appliance into the network path transparently—all with a single click.
With Gateway Load Balancer, you can easily add or remove advanced network functionality without the additional management overhead. You can think of Gateway Load Balancer, as providing the bump-in-the-wire technology you need to ensure all traffic to a public endpoint is first sent to the appliance before your application. What makes Gateway Load Balancer even more powerful is ensuring symmetrical flows or ensuring a consistent route to your network virtual appliance—without having to update routes manually. As a result, packets that traverse the same network path in both directions to function are able to do so.