Cloud load balancing (load balancer) is a simple concept that describes the distribution of applications and workloads across multiple platforms. It can also be seen as a technology aimed explicitly at enhanced productivity and efficiency of cloud-based activities.
Load balancing is achieved by allocating resources across multiple servers, networks, and computers. With cloud load balancing, the goal is to ensure ample resources for all processes that run over the Internet.
The technology is aimed at businesses and enterprises, especially those with extensive applications demands.
When a business applies load balancing solutions, cloud-based applications are better available to all end users. The idea behind load balancing is that no single server becomes overloaded as the workload is rerouted to other servers. That way, all processes can run fast and efficiently.
This is because when servers are overloaded, they become slow. Since load balancing solutions reroute workload, increased speed is guaranteed for even the most fundamental processes. The backend servers that receive the incoming traffic are otherwise known as the server pool.
How does cloud load balancing work?
Load balancing service providers offer private and public load balancers for rerouting workload. The IP address of public load balancers can be directly accessed from the Internet.
The private load balancers provide more security as the IP address cannot be accessed directly from the Internet. The IP address of the private load balancer is only available to the user’s virtual cloud network. Here are some primary functions performed by cloud load balancers.
- Distribution of network load or client requests across different servers.
- Rerouting of network load or client requests only to available and functional servers.
- Addition and removal of servers as required, according to the requests and workloads.
- Load balancers basically act like traffic wardens, directing traffic through the most efficient pathways towards maximum efficiency and productivity.
Why is cloud infrastructure load balancing important?
Cloud infrastructure load balancing improves productivity and efficiency. Without load balancers, a single server can easily fail. When that happens, response time increases, and productivity is impacted.
Cloud infrastructure load balancing directs traffic to ensure that no server is overloaded. Response time, which will directly impact customer service, can also be improved with load balancers.
Furthermore, cloud scalability is important for cloud infrastructure to run efficiently. Load balancers ensure cloud scalability because they add or remove servers as necessary for different operations.
Since load balancers can detect inactive servers and redirect incoming traffic to other servers, they help keep activities running during cyber or natural disasters. During a natural calamity, regional servers may become inactive. Load balancers will then redirect the traffic to other servers.
The benefits of cloud infrastructure load balancing can be summarised as reduced downtime, flexibility, scalability, efficiency, and redundancy elimination.
Cloud infrastructure load balancing algorithms
Load balancers work according to different algorithms. The algorithms will determine how the load balancers redirect traffic and enhance efficiency. Here are the algorithms.
- Round Robin: With Round Robin, the load balancers redirect traffic in sequential order across multiple servers.
- Least Connections: The load balancer determines the severs with the least connections and sends the incoming traffic.
- Least Time: The load balancer determines the fastest response time and the fastest connection.
- Hash: With the Hash algorithm, the load balancer sends incoming traffic based on a key that is defined by the user. This key may be the IP address of the client or the URL of the request.
- IP Hash: With the IP Hash algorithm, requests are sent based on the client’s IP address.
- Random With Two Choices: The Random With Two Choices algorithm causes the load balancer to randomly choose two servers. Afterward, the load balancer applies other criteria, such as the least connection, to determine the chosen server.
As stated above, the benefits of cloud infrastructure load balancing cannot be overemphasized. It does not only help in reducing downtime, increasing flexibility, scalability, and efficiency; it also eliminates redundancy.
Interested in accessing a cloud infrastructure load balancing service for your organisations?
Then, your best option is to choose PeaSoup. We provide fully functional firewalls to every infrastructure client at no additional cost, including VPN (site to site or SSL) and NAT (SNAT, DNAT). Load balancing is just one of these features. Our load balancers give room for all the algorithms highlighted in the article. In addition, users get a back-end choice of their preferred configuration; this is as opposed to solutions limited to the Round Robin algorithm only.