Last updated on January 6th, 2023

In cloud computing, the task of a load balancer is to divide the computing features and workloads. For companies, load balancing helps manage the application demands or workload demands by separating the resources between various networks, servers, and computers. Load balancing in cloud computing also includes the regulation of workload traffic and requirements that are present on the internet. The surge in traffic on the internet is almost 100% of the existing traffic which increases the load on servers, causing them to overload, especially for the big names in web servers.

Basically, two solutions seem to be ideal in case of server overloading, which are:

The first one is the single-server solution in which the existing server gets an upgrade to a better-performing server, but the upgraded server can also get overloaded and demand a new update. Also, the process of upgrading is tedious and expensive.

The second one is a multiple-server solution in which a scalable service system is developed on the network of servers. This makes it more cost-effective and scalable to form a group of servers for all the networking services.

For services like DNS, HTTP, FTP, SMTP, and POP/IMAP, having a load balancer is a massive help as it brings in more reliability because of the redundancy aspect. A program or a hardware device operates the feature of balancing. The cloud-based servers achieve better scalability and availability by using load balancing for the servers.

The Basic Two Categories of Load Balancing

Load balancers that are software-based: The load balancers are based on software run on standard operating systems and hardware.

Load balancers that are hardware-based: The load balancers based on hardware have an associated Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs) dedicated for a specific use. ASICs are responsible for pushing the network traffic quickly and are generally used for transport-level load balancing, and this is because hardware-based load balancing works swifter than software-based load balancing.

Suggested read: Everything You Need To Know About Network Infrastructure Security

The Different Types of Load Balancing and Load Balancers

One needs to have a good understanding of different types of load balancing to get the best one as per the network. For relational databases, server load balancing is ideal; for troubleshooting in other locations of the world, global server load balancing works best. And, for domain name functionality, the DNS load balancing server fits well. Also, cloud-based load balancers can be a parameter for choosing the load balancer.

Different Types of Load Balancing and Load Balancer

HTTP(S) Load Balancing

One of the most traditional types of load balancing that works on Layer 7 is the HTTP load balancing which means that the load balancing happens between the operational layers. HTTP load balancing is also known to be amongst the most flexible types of load balancing as the decisions can be taken based on the information received from the HTTP addresses.

Network Load Balancing

The network load balancer takes up the information from the network layer and, on that basis, decides where the network traffic should be diverted. This process is carried out through Layer 4, responsible for handling the TCP/UDP traffic. Though network load balancing is the fastest of all load balancing, it is not ideal for handling traffic distribution across the servers.

Internal Load Balancing

Internal load balancing is quite similar to network load balancing, but it is majorly used to balance the infrastructure internally.

Load balancing is carried out via load balancers which are further divided into:

  • Virtual Load Balancer: This one is different from the software load balancer in a way that it performs the deployment of software to the hardware load balancing device but over a virtual machine.
  • Software Load Balancer: This form can be commercial or open source, and it must be installed before its utilization. A software load balancer is more cost-effective than a hardware load balancer.
  • Hardware Load Balancer: The hardware load balancer device can take care of huge traffic volumes, but it is pretty expensive.

Load Balancer as a Service in Cloud Computing

A lot of cloud service providers present load balancing as a service to their clients who want to utilize the services as per their business scalabilities and on the basis of premise requirements that need in-house maintenance and configuration. LBaaS works more like the old load balancing for balancing workloads in a wide range of load balancing in cloud computing.

However, LBaaS handles the workloads across the servers in a cloud environment. It presents the service as a subscription activated on-demand rather than dividing the workload traffic over the network of servers in-house on any single data center. A few benefits of LBaaS are:

· You can smoothly scale the load balancing requirements to handle the traffic hikes without having to configure extra on-premise infrastructure.

· To keep the latency minimum, you can connect with the nearest server in the area and maintain the availability intact even when the servers are down. Compared to hardware equipment, LBaaS is cost-effective, requires less time and effort, and utilizes fewer internal resources, which are good for both maintenance and investment.

The Importance of Load Balancing in Cloud Computing

Delivers optimum performance

Load balancing in cloud computing is both easy to implement and cost-effective. This lets the organizations work quickly on the client’s requirements and deliver better results.

Assists in maintaining web traffic

The scalability feature of load balancing allows web traffic to be controlled. With the use of ideal load balancers, the high-end traffic can be taken care of by servers and cloud network solutions. For instance, the e-commerce businesses which require dealing with visitors every second, cloud load balancers can be helpful in the distribution of traffic.

Handle sudden surges in traffic

Another advantage of the load balancer is that it can manage the traffic outburst simultaneously. Load balancers divide the traffic coming on the website across every server equally and deliver the best results in minimum response time.

Now, we know that with features like scalability, better redundancy, and other above-listed features, the load balancer can easily take care of the web traffic and increase the level of result delivery.

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