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Load Balancing: Definition, How it Works, & Benefits
Last updated: Mar 15, 2023
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When managing a website, there are many aspects that need to be considered in order to maintain its optimal performance. One thing to note is server performance. If your server has good performance, users will be able to easily access your website.
In this guide, we will discuss load balancing, a server maintenance process that can minimize overload on your website server. Without further ado, let's see the following explanation!
What is Load Balancing?
Load balancing is the method of distributing network traffic to multiple servers on a website. Basically, this serves to ensure that a server does not have too many requests that will overwhelm its capacity.
When you have a popular website, there will usually be a large amount of traffic visiting it at the same time. If one of the servers is overloaded, the loading process will be slower than usual.
Not only that, in some cases, an overloaded server will make the website completely inaccessible. Therefore, balancing load is a technique that needs to be applied.
Balancing load is the process of distributing traffic through a group of backend servers, also known as a server pool. Such a method will distribute the traffic load evenly across multiple servers rather than just one.
The main goal of balancing the load is to minimize the occurrence of disturbances in the database while optimizing the performance of your website at the same time.
How Load Balancing Works
Broadly speaking, balancing load is a technique that works by distributing website traffic to several servers so that excess capacity does not occur. By using this technique, you're able to reduce the response time on the server.
As an analogy, this method can be described as a policeman solving congestion problems in heavy traffic. When one lane starts to jam, the police will direct road users to fill in other, more vacant lanes to reduce the level of congestion.
In simple terms, the process is described as follows:
- First, the user will request access to enter a website.
- The load balancer will receive the request and then distribute the traffic to the other existing servers.
- If a server is overloaded, the load balancer will divert traffic to the other servers that are vacant.
With this process, website performance becomes more optimal because no servers are overloaded. In addition, users can also get a good user experience because the website can be accessed smoothly without any obstacles.
Types of Load Balancing
In general, the method of balancing load can be divided based on the shapes of the tools, which are software and hardware.
Check out the full explanation below.
1. Software Load Balancing
This process of balancing load uses software-based tools that allow you to install servers through an application or virtual machine.
Basically, this type is more flexible than a physical load balancer. There are also different versions of this load balancer, such as paid and open source. You can choose which software best suits your website's needs.
2. Hardware Load Balancing
The next type of load balancing is done through hardware. Different from the software one, this type of load balancer is in the form of hardware.
The number of load balancers can be adjusted to handle the highest traffic you want. Due to their intangible nature, the load balancers must be stored in a local data center.
Even though the use of hardware is more costly, it can be proven beneficial as it is capable of handling quite a large amount of traffic.
Load Balancing Benefits
One of the benefits of balancing load is that it helps overcome the overload problem on the server. Apart from that, there are several other benefits that you need to know about. Check out the full explanation below.
1. Facilitate Traffic Distribution
The main advantage of balancing the load on a website is that it makes it easier to distribute traffic. Balancing load can help you eliminate all unnecessary processes or redundancies.
When traffic fails to be sent to one of the servers, the load balancer will immediately act to divert the traffic to another server. With this, the server load on your website will be more balanced, so users will feel comfortable accessing it with good loading speed.
2. Efficiency in Failure Management
With failure management, you can assist users in detecting access failures. Then, the load balancer will handle it efficiently and ensure that the issue does not affect the load on each server. By using several scattered data centers, the load balancer will cut off the failed path and then send it to another server.
3. Easily Downgrade and Upgrade Servers
If you have a large website, high traffic has the potential to make the site slow or even inaccessible.
By balancing load, your website traffic can be spread across multiple servers, making it easier for you to handle it. Evenly distributed traffic can help you upgrade or downgrade as needed.
4. Increase Flexibility
If the load on each server is balanced, your website will be more flexible in handling incoming traffic.
Balancing the load can help you maintain server performance in stages without shutting down website activity.
Simply put, balancing load allows you to keep the load on a server while other servers experience maintenance.
5. Reduce Downtime
The last benefit is to reduce downtime. This process allows you to perform server maintenance anywhere. This means that the performance of your website can increase.
Furthermore, balancing load can improve server performance by overcoming various downtime issues. This process can help make the network much more stable so that each server has good performance even though the traffic flow is high.
Thus, the load balancing guide to optimize the performance of your website. You can use professional SEO services to help you check your website for any issues so that your marketing strategy can work properly.
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