Network

Load balancing for efficient traffic management

What is load balancing?

Load balancing is a great and very commonly used method implemented for managing the traffic of a hostname. With it, you are able to effectively and in a coordinated way to spread the incoming network or application traffic through a number of servers.

If you own and maintain a website with a lot of popularity, that definitely means your website is going to receive massive traffic daily. In addition, it has to be able to operate with a large number of receiving requests from the users. Also, for every request has to be provided an answer that is right and with the exact part of the information, like text, picture, video, or application data. The whole process has to be performed in the quickest and safest way.

First, the load balancers are going to implement several criteria and examine the incoming traffic. Next, as the following step, they decide and decide to let the traffic proceed or, in a different case, to prevent it from continuing. They could redirect it to a separate server based on the load of packets at the moment or other parameters. 

How does load balancing work?

The usual order of how load balancing work looks like:

  1. Traffic comes to your website. Users send many requests to your website’s server through the Internet.
  2. The traffic is spread over the server resources. The load balancer receives every request and guides it to a suitable server.
  3. Every server works with a reasonable workload. The server gets the request and is able to approve it. Then it returns an answer to the balancer if it is not overwhelmed with an extreme amount of requests.
  4. The server replies to the query. The process is performed in backward order to transfer the server’s reply back to the user.

Types of Load Balancers

The load balancer manages the upcoming traffic, and it could arrange it depending on:

  • When was the arrival of the query? – This method is a very simple and popular way to balance the traffic. Every query goes to a different server, depending on the time it arrives. For illustration, request one proceeds to server one, request two goes to server two, and so on. It starts all over, after that. 
  • What is the location of the query? – In that case, the load balancer recognizes from where the traffic is appearing. Next, it redirects it to a specific IP address that is going to provide a quicker answer and better performance. The perfect example of this type is GeoDNS. 
  • Is the server busy? – A wise way to manage the traffic is to base it on the occupation of the servers. The queries are going to move to the next most nearby server in a case when the primary server is overloaded. The network will continue to operate efficiently.
  • Weighted balancing – You could choose what value to be based on. It defines which server should, and it is able to receive more traffic. For instance, such value could be the server’s computing power.

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