API Management

What is load balancing?

What is load balancing?

Load balancing refers to delivering incoming network traffic across a group of backend servers on the internet. The basic function distributes client requests and provides a network load across many servers.

Daily, high traffic is being consumed on internet sites. With so many requests going through, fast delivery is mandatory. It serves as a “police officer of transportation” to keep an oversight on maximizing speed and capacity utilization. When a server is drowning in requests, it can bring down the user performance daily with overconsumption. Load balancing works to redirect or point the traffic in the right direction to the remaining servers.

Load balancing functions

Load balancing functions offer flexibility to either add or subtract servers on a case-by-case basis. It makes certain that you have a strong consistency when you send requests to online servers. It allocates the requests of the client along with the network load seamlessly across many servers.

It not only brings stability to incoming website traffic, but it also has the unique role of managing requests and responses, so you have smoother user experience with the server.

Hardware- vs software-based load balancing

Hardware vs software – this is the question for load balancing. In the old days, hardware was the software de jour. Now, the process can be implemented within software just as effectively with another server. The distinguishable line is fading rapidly from the load balancing landscape.

Hardware vs. software load balancing

The main difference between hardware and software load balancing lies in the capacity that is available and the amount of physical labor you have to invest.

Hardware supports many ranges from connection options and features to server counts. Hardware also relies on the firmware to supply the program code base that ultimately operates the load balancing functionality.

With the software load balancing track, it’s problematic to an OS version. You may also experience problems and dependencies with deployment. If your enterprise takes the software path, make certain that any OS changes don’t interfere with the software load balancing performance.

Types of load balancing

  • Server

A server is a technology that distributes enormous traffic sites among several servers. The server can be on-premise or in a company’s data center, as well as a private or public cloud. They work to intercept traffic to a website and reroute it to another server. The server works to provide better reliability and scalability.

  • Network

With network load balancing, you are given a certain level of information to help decide where to send traffic from the network. This is achieved through the process of layer-four load balancing. This handles all forms of TCP/UDP traffic. With this capacity, you have the fastest load balancing solution available. Yet, some feel it stops short in the distribution category of traffic.

  • HTTP(S) load balancing

This is one of the oldest forms around. It’s considered the most flexible because it allows you to form distribution decisions based on the information that comes with an HTTP address.

  • Internal load balancing

Internal is nearly similar to network load balancing. The difference is it can be controlled to help balance internal infrastructure.

  • Hardware load balancer

This type depends upon physical, on-premises hardware to allocate network traffic. They can handle a large load of traffic, but can be expensive and some feel not so flexible.

  • Software load balancer

There are 2 types of software load balancer: commercial or open source. These can be cost-effective and must be installed before usage.

  • Virtual load balancer

This type deploys the software of a hardware load balancing device on a virtual machine which is a difference from a load balancer.

Bottom line: Why is it necessary?

It’s essential because it helps to avert a single server from breaking down and being encumbered. If you’re not using load balancing, service availability can be limited. When a server cannot handle requests at the optimum level, response times fail. Dissatisfied customers equal bad productivity.

It’s important to factor in that load balancing is fundamental for a cloud environment. Scalability is met when load balancing is in place. Being overloaded is an enormous problem and load balancing solves this issue.

Learn all about what a reverse proxy server is and how it helps your enterprise.