Load balancing helps keep networks running smoothly and prevents servers from getting overwhelmed by requests.
What Is Load Balancing?
To ensure satisfactory speed and optimized functioning, incoming network traffic is spread across a group of services. These backend services are commonly referred to as a server farm or server pool. With more spread across servers, there’s less chance of slowdown due to a loaded server.
High‑traffic websites serve thousands or even millions of people each day. Part of this service is displaying content, such as text, image, and video within seconds for users. Servers need to identify the data needed and execute it reliably every single time.
Load balancing prevents servers from becoming crippled when there’s an overflow of requests. A load balancer sends requests to servers that can efficiently handle them to maximize speed and performance.
Videos on Load Balancing
How Is Load Balancing Done at the IP Layer?
Also known as Layer 4 load balancing, this typically refers to a deployment where the load balancer’s IP address is the one promoted to clients for a website, and therefore recorded as the destination address. When the load balancer gets the request, it changes the recorded destination IP address to that of the content server it has chosen. Read more about Layer 4 load balancing here.
In some cases, it is essential that all requests from a client are sent to the same server for the duration of their session, such as when a client is putting items in a shopping cart, then heads to a purchase window. This consistency is known as session persistence. Without session persistence, switching servers causes information to be fetched twice, creating performance inefficiencies.