What is Load Balancing ?
Load balancing lets you evenly distribute network traffic to prevent failure caused by overloading a particular resource. This strategy improves the performance and availability of applications, websites, databases, and other computing resources. It also helps process user requests quickly and accurately.
A load balancer acts as the “traffic cop” sitting in front of your servers and routing client requests across all servers capable of fulfilling those requests in a manner that maximizes speed and capacity utilization and ensures that no one server is overworked, which could degrade performance. If a single server goes down, the load balancer redirects traffic to the remaining online servers. When a new server is added to the server group, the load balancer automatically starts to send requests to it.
If your organization runs high-traffic websites and applications or databases that receive a lot of queries, load balancing delivers multiple benefits by optimizing resource use, data delivery, and response time. In high-traffic environments, load balancing is what makes user requests go smoothly and accurately. They spare users the frustration of wrangling with unresponsive applications and resources.
Load balancing also plays a key role in preventing downtime and simplifying security, reducing the likelihood of lost productivity and lost profits for your organization.
Other benefits of load balancing include the following:
- Flexibility: Besides directing traffic to maximize efficiency, load balancing delivers the flexibility to add and remove servers as demand dictates. It also makes it possible to perform server maintenance without causing disruption for users since traffic gets rerouted to other servers during maintenance.
- Scalability: As the use of an application or website increases, the boost in traffic can hinder its performance if not managed properly. With load balancing, you gain the ability to add a physical or virtual server to accommodate demand without causing a service disruption. As new servers come online, the load balancer recognizes them and seamlessly includes them in the process. This approach is preferable to moving a website from an overloaded server to a new one, which often requires some amount of downtime.
- Redundancy: In distributing traffic over a group of servers, load balancing provides built-in redundancy. If a server fails, you can automatically reroute the load to working servers to minimize the impact on users.