Load balancing is a very helpful solution. Hopefully, you need to use it soon because that would mean that you already have to manage high traffic loads. Let’s explain more about load balancing!
What is load balancing?
Load balancing is a process used to distribute traffic and tasks over a set of resources to avoid overload, optimize response time and availability, and make efficient the overall operation. Rephrasing this, it is a distribution of traffic that takes place through a group of backend servers, also called a server pool.
Load balancing: How does it work?
One important note is that the purpose of load balancing is to equally distribute the workload among the available resources. Let’s picture an international online business that constantly receives requests from users worldwide. Can you calculate what it takes to process all those requests fast and accurately? We mean answering them with the exact information, text, video, or images the users requested.
It is a hard job! This business must have multiple servers to handle all this traffic and a load balancer. Why? Because you may think it has enough servers to do the job, and you are right. The issue is that without traffic distribution method, you can’t equally distribute the work. Some of your servers could be working at their full capacity, while others could be barely used. This means severe risks for such an essential and expensive infrastructure. Overloaded servers could crash or experience sluggishness, so the user experience will be affected, although the business owns a good number of resources. In addition, you will have to pay for them to be fixed. Downtime can cause money loss, disappointed clients, and a negative image.
Load balancing is the solution! It will work between the servers and clients. Through its algorithms, the load balancer will route the requests to the most capable servers to answer them while ensuring no server will overwork and maximizing capacity utilization and speed. If a server goes down, the load balancer will redirect the traffic to other servers. And, when this business, due to its growth, requires adding a new server or removing one, the load balancer can consider these moves and send the traffic accordingly.
Traffic distribution also provides high reliability and availability because it directs user requests only to the servers that are properly working.
Types of load balancing
You can choose between two types of load balancing, software and hardware.
Load balancer software-based. It is an application created with the necessary features to communicate with the servers and equally distribute the work among them. Usually, you can install it directly on your servers or access it through a third-party service.
Load balancer hardware-based. In this case, it is a machine (hosted in a data center) the one that processes and redirects traffic to other servers.
Now you know how to handle high-traffic loads. Load balancing is a great ace up your sleeve to keep growing. Keep it in mind!