What is Load Balancing?

Load Balancing

The network performance has become incredibly important. No matter if your organization is big or small, you don’t want to experience operational issues or network reliability problems. Load Balancing managed the demand by distributing the traffic and the application load over different servers depending on their current load.

It is not a new invention. In its early days, it was used between the end device and the application servers to check the servers and to send traffic to the least occupied.

But with the evolving of the networks, the load balancing has gotten a new shaped. Now it is not a simple distribution system. The load balancing has become very divided.

For example, there is application load balancer which distributes one single application over the servers; there is another which distributes only between the server cluster; another directs the traffic from multiple paths to a single destination.

Other load balancing solutions are very advanced. They can shape the traffic and act as intelligent traffic switches, do different health checks on the content, applications, and servers, add extra security on the network and protect it from malicious software and improve availability.

 

Load Balancing

Choosing load balancing is hard. You need to think about the demands on your networks and servers. You need 100% reliability on every part. If one component fails, this can lead to downtime.

There are three appliances of Load Balancing. Physical, Virtual and Cloud-based.

 

Physical Appliance

This is the most traditional approach. The load balancer is placed right after the firewall and before the server cluster. Now you can expect the balancer to include more advanced functions like a built-in firewall and to be the all-in-one gatekeeper of the network.

There are other sub-types to the Physical. Some load balancers serve as caching devices, others like SSL accelerators or ADCs.

They are all physically present in the same data center as the application servers. The benefits that they provide are easy controlled and easy to connect and form bigger structures.

The negative part is that they are costly, you need to buy a lot of hardware and software to control them and lack geographical distribution.

Virtual Appliance

In the previous appliance, the main accent was put on hardware; here we don’t have a specific hardware. It runs on a virtual machine. This virtual machine provides the environment where the load balancing software works. It is a lot easier to apply because it can run on different computer configurations. It is cheap as well, and you can buy less expensive servers; the focus goes on the software, not on the hardware; it is easier to back up.

As for disadvantages, we can mention the problem with choosing a virtualization platform, and patches and upgrades can sometimes hurt the system.

 

Cloud-based Load Balancing

This is a convenient and robust solution for bigger networks. It is based on the cloud, and there it handles the load balancing and other functions like failover.

It manages interruptions, network problems, and outages far better and it can easily redistribute the traffic.

Speed – it significantly reduces the response times and reduces the load on applications and web servers.

Security – at load balancer level, DDoS attacks can be blocked and prevented.

Low starting cost – you don’t need to buy software, nor expensive hardware. It is a service that you choose based on your current needs, and it is easily upgradable.

Round Robin DNS

Round Robin DNS is a technique of load distribution, load balancing, or fault-tolerance provisioning multiple, redundant Internet Protocol service hosts (e.g. Web server, FTP servers), by managing the Domain Name System’s (DNS) responses to address requests from client computers according to an appropriate statistical model.

Round robin DNS is often used to load balance requests between a number of Web servers. You can find more information regarding Round Robin DNS and how to use it here.

GeoDNS

The GeoDNS service allows you to redirect your customers to specific IPs (servers) based on their geographic location. The service allows you to build your own CDN or to load balance your traffic more accurate and smart than the Round-Robin, or to setup different web sites for each geolocation region. You can find detailed information regarding GeoDNS here.

 

Conclusion

As always you should know the needs of your organization to choose how exactly to implement the load balancing. Based on the advantages we recommend to start with a Cloud-based Load Balancing. You can sing up for free to use Round Robin DNS or if you want to use the more advanced GeoDNS service, you can find details about prices and features on our website.

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