Does ELB refer to a class or a type?

Tags: ACG

Student Chris W recently challenged our interpretation in ELB (Elastic Load Balancer) as used in a quiz. After some discussion we agreed with him and thought we would share the outcome here.

ELB - In the Beginning

When AWS first launched the Elastic load balancer it was a unique services. There was one of the Class and there was no need to split hairs about if it was a Class of service or a type in a Class. There was just the ELB.


In August of 2016 AWS launched the Application Load Balancer (ALB) (external site, opens in new tab), and in Sept 2017 they launched the Network Load Balancer (NLB) (external site, opens in new tab). In 2016 the term for the original Load Balancer was dropped in favour of Classic Load balancer (CLB). However ELB continued in use in various imprecise forms.

For the quiz question about multiple SSL certs on an ELB this created some ambiguity when AWS announced that ALBs could now have multiple SSL certs (external site, opens in new tab). Was the question referring to multiple SSL certs on the Classic Load Balancer, or was it referring to multiple SSL certs for the Class of Elastic Load balancers that included NLB, CLB & ALB.

ELB as a Class

After some digging and discussion it was determined that the term Elastic Load Balancer is now deprecated and replaced by the term Elastic Load Balancing, and that this refers to a Class of Load Balancing services that include NLB, CLB & ALB.

For the exam

It is not possible to give you a definitive answer about what you will see on the exam. AWS are normally fairly good at removing ambiguous question. My experiance is that they will leave questions with old or deprecated terms, but not with ambiguous or multiple interpretations. If you do see ELB on the exam, read the question carefully to determine if they are using the old name for Classic Load Balancer or if there are other hints as to the use to give you guidance on the meaning.

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