After spending roughly 36 hours trying to get the combination of heartbeat and ldirectord to cooperate, I threw in the towel and went in search of something simpler so I could test my code without becoming a full-time Linux Administrator.  Introducing Balance, an easy to use load-balancer that won’t make you crazy.  Before we get started, just a quick note to you Ubuntu users out there:  The balance package available from the repositories as of the time of this writing is out of date and has a bug that seems to cause non-IPv6 addresses to fail (bummer).

Now then, if you’re on Red Hat, you will want to use the EPEL repositories from Fedora (setup instructions here)

su root
yum install balance
exit
# Bind port 80 on the localhost to port 80 on servers 1 and 2
# The -f option will keep the process in the foreground
balance -f 80 server1.example.com server2.example.com

Was that simple or was that simple? For more specific options, the man page for the software is very informative and explains, with examples, how to perform most tasks.